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In simpler times, disaster recovery may have been characterized by system admins backing up a few tapes and moving them offsite. But today's system architectures are more complicated and call for a variety of approaches. Data center managers now have their pick from a number of DR software and services, including virtualization, continuous data protection (CDP) or wholesale outsourcing.
Technology-based DR strategies Server virtualization isn't just for test and dev sandboxes anymore. IT departments are relying on virtualization for disaster recovery and business continuity planning according to SearchDataCenter.com's 2007 data center purchasing intentions survey. This is primarily due to failover capabilities offered in products such as VMware's ESX server.
Data center experts can't stress enough how important it is to be proactive in DR planning. To this end, IT departments can try deploying DR management software to help automate processes such as vulnerability discovery. Far from perfect, DR management software offers data center managers with more tools for providing their businesses with computing uptime.
DR outsourcing and services
IT departments stretched too thin may want to outsource their backup facilities, data storage or some other aspect of their data centers. Backup data center hosting is big business and, as such, data center managers must choose their outsource site wisely. Experts recommend determining what level of involvement your company wants to maintain and find a facility that matches your needs. Furthermore, there are federal regulations for how data can be handled when it comes to outsourcing your data recovery and storage. So it's a good idea to make sure you're compliant.
An additional outsourcing caveat is security. Some colocation facilities are lacking in physical security, which can put DR plans at risk if the hosting facility is being used as a backup site. But, even leaders in the DR services businesses run into problems. Such was the case when data protection services provider Iron Mountain had a backup tape problem that cause at least one customer to go elsewhere for their DR planning needs.