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Contingency planning at the heart of DR

For data sensitive companies, and I’m pressed to imagine one that isn’t, planning contingencies for their data centre will determine how successful their DR plan really is.

Whether, the data centre is owned and operated by the company, on-site, off-site or outsourced, an effective plan depends on their ability to secure and use that data as soon as possible and in conditions as close as possible to those that were in place before disaster struck.

We look at a hierarchy of Disaster Recovery options – for immediate recovery the primary data centre site can be coupled to an active stand-by site.

For less immediate requirements the primary site can be coupled to a ‘hot’ stand-by site providing recovery in 2 to 4 hours or a ‘warm’ stand-by site providing recovery in 24-72 hours.

For less sensitive scenarios, archives for example, it is a valid option for the primary site not to be coupled to a stand by facility at all and for other back-up systems to be put in place to enable gradual recovery.

Whilst a DR plan covering the first seven days is a good initial step, it’s what happens next that separates those companies that can spring back from a serious blow to their operations and those that will just limp along, perhaps never to recover.

While IP-enabled communications makes the re-routing of voice and data communications easier, for most companies the real asset is the data itself and, in my experience, how this is protected and restored shows the real success of a Business Continuity Plan.

Migration Solutions is the computer room and data centre specialist; providing independent, vendor-neutral services in Data Centre Build, Data Centre Consultancy, Data Centre Operations and Data Centre Migration.