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For enterprises dependent on their IT operations—and today that pretty much means all of them—any kind of disaster can be potentially devastating, whether it’s a power loss or a natural disaster such as a hurricane or a tornado. No matter the form the disaster takes, any interruption in IT services means an enterprise is losing revenue and, depending on its nature, may fall out of regulatory compliance.
Disaster recovery planning is the key to avoiding or minimizing such loss and to getting your systems up and running as soon as possible. Luckily, with a few basic business needs particular to your own enterprise in hand, a disaster recovery plan can be relatively straightforward to enact.
Use a comprehensive disaster recovery checklist to make sure you analyze your infrastructure from all angles, including the ones you wouldn’t immediately think of, says Jeff Grace, president of NetEffect, a computer and IT support and consulting provider.
Email communications, for example, may be seen as of secondary importance, but it is actually typically one of the first things needed if a true disaster strikes, says Mike Klein, president and COO of Online Tech (www.onlinetech.com), a managed data center operator.
“Everyone offsite needs to communicate with each other and the outside world,” he says. “On the other hand, payroll can be down for a week in the case of a disaster. Employees might not like it, but the business will survive if paychecks are a few days late.”
From there, look at your backup method. “With the low cost of storage and Internet traffic, online backup is becoming far more cost-effective and is much easier to get your data offsite than tape backup,” Online Tech’s Klein says.
Adding servers to the offsite location is an easy next step, he adds. “The servers can be preloaded with the applications and stored at the same site as the data, and the backup data can be loaded very quickly should a disaster strike.”
Backup via virtualized servers and SAN-to-SAN replication is the next step when shorter recovery times are required, Klein adds. The SANs can replicate in real time between the production site and the disaster recovery data center to provide a solution that can fail over in minutes rather than hours.
Present executive staff with several options from lowest to highest cost, reminding them that the greater expense, the lower the risk of extended downtime due to a disaster, he adds.
excerpted from Processor