Disaster recovery plans generally sit in a bottom draw, hopefully to never see the light of day. However ours got an airing last week.
As these things inevitably do, it started on a Friday afternoon.
While I’ve written with genuine confidence about our data and operational recovery systems for regional government tenders and the like, I have to admit I was nervous when we lost our internet, email, then server connections within the space of an hour.
In the time it took us to take in the problem and wonder what version of the ‘turn it off and on again’ rule applies when everything has already gone off, our IT contractor SCS had called and sent someone over to collect our server. By 5pm on Friday I got the call I’d been dreading; a shorted motherboard and broken router meant our system was no more – cause unknown but possibly linked to some recent works in the building.
Around the office I’m known fondly for my love of systems – you would not believe the amount of times I’ve heard “look, another form, how delightful” – but once we had instructed SCS to build a new server, we were relying on everyone else.
By mid Monday morning a new router was installed thanks to SCS, meaning that our email access was limited for less than a day.
We knew our backups ensured our data was retrievable, but as SCS were able to take our data directly off the hard drive (much quicker) by Tuesday our new server was in the office, with us pretty much back to normal the next day. At the same time our insurers Aviva were processing our claim and we had a cheque in the post by the end of the week.
Now the dust has settled (and my stress levels are back to normal), I think we did our recovery plan justice. Of course I learnt a few things along the way, but most of all, it brought home to me just how much trust we put in not just our own plans as a business, but those we work with. Without the folks at Aviva, the tolerance of Place Architecture and Design by Distraction (our co-tenants) and the efficiency and flexibility of SCS I could still be sat here flicking the on/off switch.