Disaster Recovery planning and testing

Matt Stansberry

Disaster recovery (DR) -- the data center's response to an emergency situation -- is the most crucial aspect of any company's business continuity plan. Your company is vulnerable to natural disasters, avian flu pandemics, hazardous spills, bomb scares, disgruntled employees and the list goes on.

If any one of those situations happens, you're going to be worrying about more than just your servers. Because if your information is up, but nobody can use it, your system is still down.

Today's data center manager may be asked to address a whole new list of questions in an emergency. Who are your services suppliers? Can they get to your data center? Is your

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hot site operational? Who is managing communications? When can data center employees come back to work?

As the heart of the business, IT can no longer plan in a tunnel. Putting an executable DR plan in place is the most effective insurance policy a business can invest in for its data center operations. Despite the small investment disaster recovery planning entails -- when compared to the cost of lost data and business -- relatively few companies spend enough time and resources planning and testing for outages.

This chapter on disaster recovery planning offers information to help you make holistic DR contingency plans, evaluate those strategies and implement change in your data center and your company.

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