Disaster Recovery (DR) is the process an organization uses to recover access to their software, data, and/or hardware that are needed to resume the performance of normal, critical business functions after the event of either a natural disaster or a disaster caused by humans. While Disaster Recovery plans, or DRPs, often focus on bridging the gap where data, software, or hardware have been damaged or lost, one cannot forget the vital element of manpower that composes much of any organization. A building fire might predominantly affect vital data storage; whereas an epidemic illness is more likely to have an affect on staffing. Both types of disaster need to be considered when creating a DR Plan. Thus, organizations should include in their DRPs contingencies for how they will cope with the sudden and/or unexpected loss of key personnel as well as how to recover their data.
Disaster Recovery Plans are generally part of a larger, more extensive practice known as Business Continuity Planning. DR plans should be well practiced so that the key players are familiar with the specific actions they will need to take should a disaster occur. DR plans must also be adaptable and routinely updated, e.g. if new people, a new branch office, or new hardware or software are added to an organization they should promptly be incorporated into the organization's disaster recovery plan. Companies must consider all these facets of their organization as well as update and practice their plan if they want to maximize their recovery after a disaster.
BC / DR Plan Steps
Business continuity / Disaster Recovery Plans come in various forms, each reflecting the corporation's particular set of circumstances. The following are some of the general step required to develop and implement a plan.
Policy Statement (Goal of plan, reasons and resources Business Impact Analysis (how does a shutdown impact the business financially and otherwise) Identify Preventive Steps (can disaster be avoided by taking prudent steps) Recovery Strategies (how and what you will need to recover) Plan Development (Write plan and implement plan elements) Plan buy-in and testing (very important so that everyone knows the plan and knows what to do) Maintenance (continuous changes to reflect current situation)
If only I had known!
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The crux of any disaster recovery planning project is the disaster recovery strategy and writing a disaster recovery plan. It is here that the actual steps to get up and running following an unplanned outage will be written down.
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