Re: What’s your work from home DR plan?

Following up on the excellent article from @networkingnerd I thought I give out some background on how I’ve approached the issue.

Since much of what I do is consulting around designing and assisting companies in building their own disaster recover plans and processes it’s incumbent on me to set the example as much as possible. But of course as an independent consultant I don’t have access to the same kinds of budgets as an enterprise, but it’s surprising just how far you can push things even on a small scale.

I have a separate office close to my house so I’m going to start with that part first.

The basics


As pointed out in the article, if you have no power, you have nothing. In my neck of the woods, the power is pretty reliable, but there are still hiccups from time to time which can be annoying. So on this front, I have a pile of UPS boxes that keep all of the networking and primary infrastructure pieces (some ZFS NAS servers and NUCs running ESXi) running for at least an hour. I have always made low power consumption a priority on my equipment to ensure that I keep the power budget down and they tend to make less noise and will run longer on a UPS. I generally go with the EATON Pro line which has a useful display to see the load and estimated autonomy and other stats.

Recently I’ve had a few issues where one of the EATONs just decided to stop passing through power and becoming unresponsive, so I have added a much larger APC Smart Connect with some additional cloud based monitoring to be able to ensure that it’s in good shape and there’s no hidden issues with the batteries.


At the moment, internet communications are managed by two connections from different providers: A gigabit fibre option and an ADSL line. Both lines are connected to a pfSense router that is setup to use them in a gateway group with priority to the fibre connection and failover to the ADSL if required. As a last resort I also have a battery powered mobile 4G/Wifi router that I used to use when going out to client sites in the before times and of course there’s always the phone tethering as an option.


Site number 2: the House

I’m fortunate in that I actually have a separate private office that is walking distance from the house, which means that should everything decide to stop working at the office, I can fall back to the house. It is also equipped with UPS protection on all of the networking equipment. Similar to the office, it is connected with a dual-WAN setup, this time a 4G connection and an fibre line. Both sites are linked with permanent VPN connections and these are used to replicate hourly between the office and the house. So if the office goes completely dark, I have a current copy of all of the important VMs that I can turn on fairly quickly and easily and if I don’t have my MacBook, the media Mac Mini can be repurposed for work or an iPad will do in a pinch.

Site number 3 : remote elsewhere

Since a lot of my consulting work used to be done on the road on site in the before-times, the combination of a MacBook, iPad, the Mobile router and some biggish portable batteries are all part of my mobile kit that I can grab on a moment’s notice and find somewhere further away to work in the case that I can’t use the house or the office.