DR Planning : some considerations

As for the rest or your business, here are some considerations for creating your plan.

1.Understand what keeps your business going.

Identify those systems and resources that are absolutely critical to run the business and focus on protecting those first. Not all systems require the same levels of protection; in fact some may not need protecting at all. A cost-effective and efficient business continuity plan sets priorities to help bring the business back online as rapidly as possible.

2.Get the data out of the building

This is the quickest and easiest way to help ensure that the business can be recovered should it suffer a loss or outage. If a failure or loss of data occurs you need to be able to recover it. Even if it requires being restored to a different location, at least your data will be available.

3.Calculate the cost of downtime

This will help in setting priorities as to which areas of the business get protected and to what levels. Note that while some systems may not have a large dollar value associated with them being down,there may be legal ramifications should they not be available or recoverable. Cost is not just lost revenue, but the overall impact on the data has on enabling the business to meet employee, customer, legal, and financial obligations.

4.Think beyond tape

While tape is probably the most common method for protecting and recovering data, it may not be appropriate or sufficient for all of your applications. Tape is acceptable for long-term archival and recovery, however, it can be a lengthy process to rebuild a system from tape.

After determining the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for each of your systems, consider appropriate enhancements to tape solutions such as host-based replication.

Other solutions like data replication can provide near-zero data loss and disk-to-disk recovery options for a rapid return to productivity.

5.Continue to build and test the plan - continuously!

Be sure that your plan accounts for the various types of outages that could affect each business location including a simple disk or hardware failure,a building outage,a regional power failure, environmental disasters,and natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

Check that the necessary procedures are documented and available for everyone to read and understand. Everyone in your company has an important roll should an emergency arise.

Whether their role is to get themselves safely out of the building or to help in the rebuilding process, it is important for them to know exactly what is expected of them during a crisis.

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