Disaster Recovery Communication
During a recent Twitter conversation about disaster recovery and business continuity testing, I began to consider how we communicate during a disaster. We do so not with normal communication methods, but more often than not with an interrupting form of communication—one in which constant requests for updates, criticisms, and outright demands for attention are directed at those who are doing the work of recovering a system. During a disaster recovery effort, communication breaks down. Why? Generally, not enough testing has been performed to document communication issues or any other types of issues. How can we improve this communication, or even get the proper people involved, when six feet of snow, water, or mud surrounds our place of work?
Now, granted, this is a good reason to use a cloud provider; but what if the disaster affects our provider? We need to learn from the failures of others to improve our overall disaster recovery. We need to plan for all forms of failure, including the failure to communicate. Hearken back to Sandy, Katrina, Malibu mudslides, forest fires, and similar disasters. Would you even be able to get to your place of work to retrieve a copy of your disaster recovery plan? Do you have an out-of-band mechanism for contacting all who need to be involved in a disaster recovery? What is your current communication plan?
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NOTE: This column was originally published in The Virtualization Practice Newsletter.