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How to create a Salesforce Disaster Recovery plan

A Salesforce Disaster Recovery Plan is a must-have procedure to ensure your business runs smoothly by continuously protecting and using your Salesforce data, apps, and infrastructure related to it. This continuity plan aims to save business operations in case of an emergency or a disruptive event and guide you to understand the concept better.

Data recovery is a crucial feature that all companies should be aware of. Disasters occur without warning, and it may be a fire, storm, cyber-attack, or even disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic might be considered a disaster business-wise. 

Maintaining customer data protection in a disaster should be a priority for most organizations, as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems contain critical information. Establishing a Salesforce Disaster Recovery plan is a necessary precaution you should take.  

What is a disaster recovery plan?

Disaster recovery is the concept of saving your data resulting in having as little downtime as possible or no downtime, preserving data integrity, and restoring deleted data or access to data, infrastructure, and apps. In order to do that, companies need to formulate a disaster recovery plan (DRP).

A DRP aims to ensure that crucial business activities can be restored to being feasible in the shortest time while minimizing disturbance to the organization’s operations.

Why should you prepare a Salesforce Disaster Recovery Plan?

Salesforce Disaster Recovery Plan defines measures to reduce downtime, preserve data integrity, and restore access to Salesforce data, apps, and infrastructure. It contains business-saving procedures for companies to keep their business activities flowing. 

During a disaster, prepared companies use recovery plan procedures to minimize their downtime, prevent data loss, and maintain the user experience at a certain level. 

Remember to check our Salesforce Disaster Recovery Considerations guide to get a better understanding of this topic and have everything ready before preparing your plan. 

Here are the advantages of preparedness in case of a disaster scenario:

Business Continuity

The best benefit of having a Salesforce Disaster Recovery Plan is its hand in helping with an organization’s Business Continuity (BC). When paired with a Business Continuity Plan, BC ensures that a company can quickly recover from these disruptions and have the lowest possible effects on the organization’s interests. Continuing business means keeping the trust high among customers and cash flow by not losing business.

Data security

Data security refers to the protection of data against unauthorized access, use, modification, disclosure, and destruction and encompasses network security, physical security, and file security. And it is directly linked to business continuity and reputation in certain ways. 

You must keep the data secure against a cyber attack or a possible disruption, and a DRP will help you store all your data in cloud-based or physical storage (e.g., data center), so that you will be able to get it all back in case of an emergency. But you have to take certain measures to protect your backups. 

Measures in your plan should include encryption, correct ownership, and physical security. These practices should always be in place to maintain security at an optimum level.

Do you know what to consider for your DR Plan?

Read on to learn more about Salesforce Disaster Recovery Considerations.

Learn more

How to develop a Salesforce disaster recovery plan

Preparing a Salesforce disaster recovery plan is not really different from designing a DRP at all – let’s examine the steps.

  1. Find the owner of the plan. The owner of the plan will need to be organized and responsible, as this person should be knowledgeable in all things IT and data specifically.
  2. Define and list your risks. Think about things that might happen, then list them based on probability. Do not underestimate the luck factor in life, so try to think out of the box and find all possibilities despite how unlikely they are to happen.
  3. Create a list of critical tools, tech, and data. What you use and what you will need to use will be the most important things during an emergency or disaster situation. This is why having a list, and suppliers/vendors list (if needed) is crucial.
  4. Delegate responsibilities. The owner of the plan will execute the plan, but this is not a one-person job, so delegate the responsibilities according to departments, tools, tech and more.
  5. Determine the size of the backup and where it will be backed up to. Task #3 on this list will help you define this. And the size will help you understand your backup storage needs.
  6. Prepare a communication plan. You should prepare your internal and external messaging in case of a disaster event. It’s better to keep the lines of communication going to maintain and establish trust.
  7. Do drills and test your DRP. Doing drills at a predefined cadence will increase your colleagues’ awareness and preparedness. Remember to collect feedback about the process so that you can continue to refine your DRP.
Credit: Lukas/Pexels

How can Salesforce disaster recovery testing help you?

It helps you evaluate the Salesforce Disaster Recovery plan’s effectiveness. It is a critical part of the plan as it allows you to test the service and see if it works. This type of testing simulates a disaster scenario and lets you evaluate your preparedness. By completing a test, you will be sure whether Salesforce data recovery will work and take additional steps if you face a problem or an error. 

Does Salesforce provide disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) or backup?

Yes, they do provide a native backup solution and they have a Salesforce data recovery service at an additional cost. Salesforce announced the return of their data recovery services along with the debut of their Backup and Restore solution for guarding business data against mishaps and mayhem back in 2021. Salesforce customers could set up daily backup processes for standard and custom items; however, their solution has been met with mixed reviews

Salesforce RPO and RTO

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) are two important facets of the Salesforce Disaster Recovery plan. Businesses select data capture intervals with their backup solution, and when the need for recovery occurs, the business would use their backup solution to recover values from a trusted point-in-time. For instance, if a company or a customer sets their RPO to two hours, they are willing to give up two hours of data, and the plan works on recovering the missing data.

On the other hand, RTO has a different working system than RPO. It is the amount of time that the customer anticipates having all of its crucial systems and data recovered. If a customer sets its RTO to 24 hours, the systems and data should be fully recovered in a day.

Which is longer: RPO or RTO?

You might have seen longer RTOs than RPOs, but it is not true. RPO and RTO values change based on each business’ unique requirements, needs, and objectives.

A lower RTO necessitates faster recovery solutions and may raise the complexity and cost of the disaster recovery plan. In contrast, a lower RPO necessitates more regular backups and complex disaster recovery solutions.

Want to reduce your Salesforce data RTO?

Check out our blog to discover how.

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