Failure to prepare for it can give an otherwise ideal model a theoretical name and spell disaster for those associated with the discharge of its responsibilities. The attacks on America have brought home the realization of the horrors of disaster when it strikes.
In the aftermath of 11 September 2001, as organizations began to build through the process of responding, reconstructing, restoring and recovering, they realized that classic recovery planning that focused on how to restore centralized data centers was far from adequate for contemporary businesses.
The events of 11 September have forced organizations to review their disaster recovery plans, especially in light of new technology. Finally, organizations must make an executive commitment to regularly test, validate and refresh their business continuity and disaster recovery programs to protect the organization against perhaps the greatest risk of all—complacency.
There are two main reasons why organizations do not test their disaster recovery plans regularly. Component—A component is the smallest set of instructions within the recovery plan that enables specific processes to be performed. A warm site works for businesses or organizations that can tolerate one or two days of downtime, which represents the typical delay between when a primary site goes down and a recovery site comes up.
Once this work is out of the way, you’re ready to move on to developing disaster recovery strategies, followed by the actual plans. Once you have identified your critical systems, RTOs, RPOs, etc, create a table, as shown below, to help you formulate the disaster recovery strategies you will use to protect them. Once your disaster recovery strategies have been developed, you’re ready to translate them into disaster recovery plans.
You may be able to make your disaster recovery plan even more effective by using the Latisys Cloud to achieve even greater flexibility and savings.
In the past, failover planning used to be exceedingly complex and expensive because you needed to buy, configure and maintain identical hardware for a recovery site. Many major and medium-sized businesses opt for warm sites because costs are significantly lower than for hot sites.
In addition, arrangements to have these assets delivered and installed at the cold site are needed, preferably in advance.
The cost to outfit a cold site and make it usable can be expensive and will take time, often several days or a week or more. Then, you’ll need to establish recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). Here we’ll explain how to write a disaster recovery plan as well as how to develop disaster recovery strategies.
Procedures should ensure an easy-to-use and repeatable process for recovering damaged IT assets and returning them to normal operation as quickly as possible.
This process can be seen as a timeline, such as in Figure 2, in which incident response actions precede disaster recovery actions. Located at the end of the plan, these can include systems inventories, application inventories, network asset inventories, contracts and service-level agreements, supplier contact data, and any additional documentation that will facilitate recovery. Make Latisys Disaster Recovery as a Service an integral part of your business continuity and failover plan.


Then define step-by-step procedures to, for example, initiate data backup to secure alternate locations, relocate operations to an alternate space, recover systems and data at the alternate sites, and resume operations at either the original site or at a new location.
You also take advantage of our expertise to design and maintain the solution so that your IT staff can create value specific to your organization, rather than managing a far more complicated disaster recovery plan. It is when a series of components are combined without individual tests that difficulties occur.Examples of module tests include alternate site activation, system recovery, network recovery, application recovery, database recovery and run production processing. A hot site is a full or partial duplicate for a primary IT operation, including complete computer systems and near-real-time backups for systems, applications and data. Cold sites which are empty facilities, such as trailers, warehouses, open space in existing data centers specially equipped for emergency use; or simply empty buildings that are wired for power, communications and HVAC but are empty. Although equipment and siting costs are similar, data synchronization and ongoing maintenance and monitoring costs don't apply to warm sites.
Business continuity and disaster recovery are so vital to business success that they no longer remain a concern of the IT department alone. Disaster recovery efforts of the past were designed to provide backup options for centralized data centers.
With good planning, a great deal of disaster recovery testing can be accomplished with modest expenditure. Full—The full test verifies that each component within every module is workable and satisfies the strategy and recovery time objective (RTO) requirements detailed in the recovery plan.
In addition to using the strategies previously developed, IT disaster recovery plans should form part of an incident response process that addresses the initial stages of the incident and the steps to be taken.
Get Prepared for AnythingFill out the form below to get more information about Latisys Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). It is in these plans that you will set out the detailed steps needed to recover your IT systems to a state in which they can support the business after a disaster. Areas to look at are availability of alternate work areas within the same site, at a different company location, at a third-party-provided location, at employees’ homes or at a transportable work facility.
The next section should define roles and responsibilities of DR recovery team members, their contact details, spending limits (for example, if equipment has to be purchased) and the limits of their authority in a disaster situation.
These are essential in that they ensure employees are fully aware of DR plans and their responsibilities in a disaster, and DR team members have been trained in their roles and responsibilities as defined in the plans.
The aim of module testing is to verify the validity and functionality of the recovery procedures when multiple components are combined.
Here we can see the critical system and associated threat, the response strategy and (new) response action steps, as well as the recovery strategy and (new) recovery action steps. If disaster strikes, you can reactivate the server and spin it up with the application and operating system basically ready to go. Check with your vendors while developing your DR plans to see what they have in terms of emergency recovery documentation. Hot-site pricing is usually based on the amount of processing power and data storage needed, networking needed to support operations, voice and data communications for company employees, desk space for employees relocated to the hot site, conference room space, and other conveniences needed to support potentially extended stays at the site.
Hot sites are largely in move-in condition so that employees can be productive within hours of declaring a disaster.


Nonetheless, the components to integrated business continuity are the same: recovery options for facilities, technology, network infrastructure and human skills. Hypothetical—The hypothetical test is an exercise, first, to verify the existence of all necessary procedures and actions specified within the recovery plan and, second, to prove the theory of those procedures.
Learn how to develop disaster recovery strategies as well as how to write a disaster recovery plan with these step-by-step instructions. Because each of these options is delivered on Latisys hardware, any of these flavors can be considered Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).
Even though the components of a perfect disaster recovery plan may exist, at the time of crisis they could be rendered useless in a matter of minutes.
Based on the findings from incident response activities, the next step is to determine if disaster recovery plans should be launched, and which ones in particular should be invoked. If you are leveraging VMware as your virtualization platform, VMware's Site Recovery Manager (SRM) can maintain a scripted recovery plan to shut down specified virtual machines and automatically restore them to a recovery site. A warm site may be a complete duplicate of an original site, but will typically provide only a subset of mission-critical equipment, services and data. If staff relocation to a third-party hot site or other alternate space is necessary, procedures must be developed for those activities. If one is able to test all modules, even if unable to perform a full test, then one can be confident that the business will survive a major disaster. That is, a warm site offers access to space, utilities and equipment, but requires current backups be installed, and systems and services brought online to become operational. Formulating a detailed recovery plan is the main aim of the entire IT disaster recovery planning project. Of course your specific solution will be driven by your unique Recovery Point Objective (RPO), Recovery Time Objective (RTO), and Cost of Downtime requirements—learn more about what these disaster recovery terms mean. Disaster recovery efforts of the present multivendor, multiplatform environment require a plan designed for integrated business continuity. Once the plan has been launched, DR teams take the materials assigned to them and proceed with response and recovery activities as specified in the plans.
The more detailed the plan is, the more likely the affected IT asset will be recovered and returned to normal operation. Technology DR plans can be enhanced with relevant recovery information and procedures obtained from system vendors. This means thinking proactively; engineering availability, security and reliability into business processes from the outset—not retrofitting a disaster recovery plan to accommodate ongoing business requirements. Then consider site security, staff access procedures, ID badges and the location of the alternate space relative to the primary site.



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