There are certain methods to creating a solid disaster recovery plan that every IT manager should follow. The scope of this plan is to define the recovery steps in the event of a domain controller failure. The scope of this plan is to recover from a loss of SQL Server 2005 Integration and Analysis Services.
This is the heart of your disaster recovery plan and should include as many pictures, data flows and diagrams as possible.
The key to the process layering diagram is in building a complete high-level picture of the scope of the Windows disaster recovery plan. In the interrogation stage of the disaster recovery plan, you begin to ask questions, fill in the gaps and ultimately gather the knowledge points that currently reside with the key players in your organization.
A scope statement, process layering, interrogation and a contact list become the skeleton of your DRP document, and you can use the document for more than just a DRP plan to have on file. Define the internal audit plan for IT disaster recovery and document the criteria, scope, method and frequency of audits. When building a disaster recovery maintenance plan, be sure to secure senior management review and approval. Learn how to develop disaster recovery strategies as well as how to write a disaster recovery plan with these step-by-step instructions. Once this work is out of the way, you’re ready to move on to developing disaster recovery strategies, followed by the actual plans. The following section details the elements in a DR plan in the sequence defined by ISO 27031 and ISO 24762. Disaster recovery risk assessment and business impact analysis (BIA) are crucial steps in the development of a disaster recovery plan. Following the BIA and risk assessment, the next steps are to define, build and test detailed disaster recovery plans that can be invoked in case disaster actually strikes the organisation’s critical IT assets. Detailed response planning and the other key parts of disaster recovery planning, such as plan maintenance, are, however, outside the scope of this article so let us get back to looking at disaster recovery risk assessment and business impact assessment in detail. Here we’ll explain how to write a disaster recovery plan as well as how to develop disaster recovery strategies.


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. A section on plan document dates and revisions is essential, and should include dates of revisions, what was revised and who approved the revisions.
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. 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. 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.
Such plans provide a step-by-step process for responding to a disruptive event with steps designed to provide an easy-to-use and repeatable process for recovering damaged IT assets to normal operation as quickly as possible.
If DR plans are to be invoked, incident response activities can be scaled back or terminated, depending on the incident, allowing for launch of the DR plans.
And since DR planning generates a significant amount of documentation, records management (and change management) activities should also be initiated. This section defines the criteria for launching the plan, what data is needed and who makes the determination. These steps will help overcome any writer's block that comes with the seemingly overwhelming task of creating a document such as a disaster recovery plan. So, for example, make sure to audit outsourcing vendors to ensure their capabilities support your organisation's disaster recovery strategies and plans.
These will include risk assessments, business impact analyses (and updates to existing risk assessments and BIAs), plan reviews, plan exercises, contact list updates, and plan training and awareness activities. Formulating a detailed recovery plan is the main aim of the entire IT disaster recovery planning project.
Important: Best-in-class DR plans should begin with a few pages that summarise key action steps (such as where to assemble employees if forced to evacuate the building) and lists of key contacts and their contact information for ease of authorising and launching the plan.
To do that, let us remind ourselves of the overall goals of disaster recovery planning, which are to provide strategies and procedures that can help return IT operations to an acceptable level of performance as quickly as possible following a disruptive event. 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.


But, before we look at them in detail, we need to locate disaster recovery risk assessment and business impact assessment in the overall planning process. This section should specify who has approved the plan, who is authorised to activate it and a list of linkages to other relevant plans and documents.
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. Continuous improvement is an ongoing activity that occurs at all points in the DR planning lifecycle, and can be implemented through effective programme management. Once your disaster recovery strategies have been developed, you’re ready to translate them into disaster recovery plans. Having established our mission, and assuming we have management approval and funding for a disaster recovery initiative, we can establish a project plan.
If your organisation already has records management and change management programmes, use them in your DR planning. Now it is time to map out plans for disaster recovery audit, maintenance and continuous improvement.
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.
A disaster recovery project has a fairly consistent structure, which makes it easy to organise and conduct plan development activity. Those events with the highest risk factor are the ones your disaster recovery plan should primarily aim to address.
Included within this part of the plan should be assembly areas for staff (primary and alternates), procedures for notifying and activating DR team members, and procedures for standing down the plan if management determines the DR plan response is not needed.
Check with your vendors while developing your DR plans to see what they have in terms of emergency recovery documentation.



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