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Five ideas for setting up a data center disaster recovery plan

These DR tips will help you develop a data center disaster recovery plan based on your business needs. Just don't go overboard on technology.

As IT departments grow and become more central to business operations, a data center disaster recovery plan is a necessity. But deciding how to set one up that's right for your business takes research. Here are five ideas to help get you started.

Meeting the demand for 24/7 availability

Disaster recovery (DR) plans increasingly must accommodate high availability requirements in the data center. Whether your company's DR strategy involves a secondary site or on-site recovery, flexibility is one key to meeting increasing uptime demands. Portable fuel, containerized data centers and outsourcing are just a few of the more flexible options.

Reining in spending on disaster recovery

Depending on the size of your data center, syncing up a disaster recovery plan with the budget plan can be difficult. One company found a strategy that leverages modern wide area network optimization technology to keep those runaway DR costs down.

Overcoming hardware limitations for redundancy

For businesses that need full data redundancy at multiple disaster recovery sites, remote storage is a big concern. You face some tough choices when it comes to hardware in the DR budget: Do you duplicate your existing facility at the DR site? Is there a cheaper way to set up DR and still maintain redundancy? From virtual machine snapshots to thin provisioning, there are plenty of options for easing those hardware requirements.

Considering overlooked aspects of DR

Throwing hardware and software at the issue of data center recovery is not an efficient or particularly useful way to handle it. The humans in IT must sit down and create plans that fit with the goals of the business as a whole. Beyond just the DR plan, recoverability testing, capacity planning and regulatory compliance are all aspects of data center recovery that need consideration.

Learning from unexpected DR issues

Disaster is the name of the game, and sometimes even the best laid recovery plans aren't enough. This story from 2012's Superstorm Sandy contains some valuable lessons for businesses just starting out on their data center disaster recovery planning journey, especially for any data center in the line of future storms. Make sure email remains up and running, keep servers from floating away and keep customers happy no matter what hits.

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