IT Disaster Recovery Options

IT Disaster Recovery
Disaster Recovery Options

Most business owners understand the need for IT disaster recovery, in some fashion. I still see businesses, mostly Mom and Pop shops, with a single UPS securing their entire network, and if they’re really on top of disaster recovery, they may have digital tape back-up, and store those tapes off site daily.

Let’s face it. Protecting your investment in IT is a 24/7/365 commitment. It doesn’t matter if a disaster is man-made or natural. Lose your data and you’ll likely lose your company.

Protecting your data 

Some time back, my daughter called to say her friend lost her computer and Wii to a lightning strike in northern Illinois, even though they were on a surge protector. This brought back memories of my first week on the job as a bench tech in the Central West End when a client brought in his NT server. It was still smokin’ from a lightning strike, and obviously dead. I think I replaced the MOBO, hard drive, memory modules and video card, and reinstalled NT. Yipes! A few years ago, a credit card terminal in my Salon went up in smoke to a power interruption. Fortunately, I had a replacement in my garage, standing by.

It doesn’t matter how small or how large your business is, you really need a definitive DR plan for your company. In the Marine Corps, we wrote SOP’s, or Standard Operating Procedures, and Contingency Scenarios. In business – processes, policies and procedures are the crucial elements in an effective disaster recovery plan. Obviously, people are an important piece of the pie, but a substantial portion of any good DR plan addresses infrastructure, or the facility that provides physical protection for the technology itself.

Infrastructure (data center) disaster recovery options

Cold

  • Least expensive
  • No equipment
  • Has electrical, environmental and telecommunications accommodations
  • Offers longer recovery time, but does give the client somewhere to go in case of a disaster

Warm

  • Is essentially a site that has all necessary IT equipment, ready to go live, but lacks live data
  • Requires set a brief set up period

Hot

  • Fully equipped site ready to go at a moment’s notice
  • Normally contains continuously replicated data
  • Most expensive, but ready when needed
  • Essential for hospitals, financial institutions and ecommerce operations

An Important Note

Disaster recovery encompasses more than simply restoring or replicating data.

It’s having people, processes and infrastructure in place to restore your business to full functionality in case of disaster.

Always couple DR with business continuity planning. How will your business continue to operate following a disaster and what impact will it extract.

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Steve
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