Disaster Recovery Services

Posted on September 9, 2014

On the 27th of February 2011 I woke up to find my Gmail powered by the omnipotent Google had vanished overnight. The problem affected only 0.02% of users but I can tell you I was unprepared for the level of panic that ensued in our household. Happily messages were successfully restored from stored magnetic tapes some hours after the initial crash (and boy was I relieved). Less successful was the outcome of the 1996 fire at the major Paris Bank, Credit Lyonnais. Bank officials realised that the backup tapes were stored on site and were lost in the disaster including crucial bank archives and computer data. For netapp storage services, just click the hyperlink provided.
We never think of course that it will happen to us but the sheer volume of computer data recovery businesses should be a hint that things can and do go wrong even with the best backup and storage system on the market. Number one lesson for any one at home or in business is; do not store your back up near the original. Just remember those French bank officials running back into a burning building – don’t let that be you. Second lesson is to avoid human error in the backup and scheduling of backup. People forget; computers don’t (in general). If data is really crucial, life or death crucial then you should consider multiple backups on multiple storage mediums and stored in different locations. This is unwieldy and makes the system complicated to administer but it may well save the day if the worst happens.
A disaster recovery plan is a must have and it needs to be regularly audited (checked to see that it works) and tested. The organisation’s ability to recover from a disaster or unexpected system fault or failure and resume operations is a measure of its preparation for disaster and the effectiveness of the DR Plan. When preparing a plan, you first need to establish where the organisation is starting from and the capability of the organisation to respond in a crisis. Click here for more information and inquiries.
From this audit two objectives can be set, firstly the RTO (Recovery Time Objective) or the time it takes for the organisation to be up and running again following a critical event. Secondly a RPO (Recovery Point Objective) should be set; this refers to the ability of the system to recover the necessary files. From these objectives the organisation need to set out a mission statement in order to identify the purpose and goals of the disaster recovery plan.
The plan should be in writing, circulated to all the personnel affected and be easily accessible should a disaster occur. There are a number of choices in DR Strategy which also need to be specified in the DR plan. The most expensive option is to run a hot or cold site. A hot site is one to which the whole organisation can be moved immediately in order to resume operations straight away. Hot sites are fully equipped and ready to go. A cold site is an available site that the organisation can move to which is ready to take the organisation but is not equipped or not fully equipped. Careful cost/benefit analysis needs to be undertaken if you are contemplating this approach as it is expensive to operate two sites.
Data backup is the heart of any disaster management plan but it must be regularly audited to make sure that the system; methods and mediums used are effective and are being implemented. Along with auditing, drills should be conducted to make sure that the DR plan is effective and what changes could be made to improve the plan.
Apart from the computing software, hardware, data backup and protection, the DR plan needs to include provision for replacement personnel in case natural disaster or other event means that key personnel cannot come on site or are injured and unable to participate. These personnel need to have their training kept up to date and be aware of the DR policies and procedures should they need to take over roles as required.

Categories: Technology & Internet

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