Today, disaster recovery plans encompass every type of automated system, including mainframes, midrange computers open systems, desktop devices, and perhaps even PDAs (personal digital assistants). I could go on all afternoon covering the changes just in the years since the first edition of Business Resumption Planning was published. I think it's safe to say that most of the people initially tasked with responsibility for a disaster recovery plan by their organizations will not really know where to start. Consider Figure 2, which illustrates a four-step process to achieve the goals set forth earlier.
For the moment, however, as this is only an overview, let's return to our four-step process defined previously. In summary, often the most difficult part of the planning process is simply getting off square one, and starting. Business Continuity Management is treated as an on-going process with several different mandatory components and features. Our Business Continuity Management and Disaster Recovery are part of one package, implemented as a single component for computer systems and services that stresses the continuous availability of all critical services. Before creating a disaster recovery plan we review your company's entire business continuity strategy (BCS) and cautiously consider the potential impacts of disasters. Our service activities range from a short executive consultation on a contemporary risk-related issue to the analysis and implementation of a complete disaster recovery layer across the organization.
This policy defines acceptable methods for disaster recovery planning, preparedness, management and mitigation of IT systems and services at Weill Cornell Medical College. The disaster recovery standards in this policy provide a systematic approach for safeguarding the vital technology and data managed by the Information Technologies and Services Department.
The ITS Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) addresses the protection and recovery of WCMC IT services so that critical operations and services are recovered in a timeframe that ensures the survivability of WCMC and is commensurate with customer obligations, business necessities, industry practices, and regulatory requirements. The Disaster Recovery Manager is responsible for conducting Capability Analyses (CA) to determine ITS's capacity to recover critical IT services that support defined critical business processes and recovery objectives; at least every other years.
The Disaster Recovery Manager is responsible for maintaining the Recovery Tier Chart , which defines the Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) of all ITS-managed systems.


ITS is required to create disaster recovery plans for the IT portion - including services, systems, and assets - of critical business processes.
A Risk Assessment must be conducted at least every other year to determine threats to disaster recovery and their likelihood of impacting the IT infrastructure.
Approved recovery strategies must be tested to ensure they meet required recovery time and recovery point objectives. During an outage, IT Managers may incur special recovery and restoration costs that are unbudgeted. There are career advantages from the visibility you will receive; after all, for many companies disaster recovery planning is a board-of-directors-level issue. We can offer protection from many potential risks that can threaten your company by disrupting critical business processes.
The Disaster Recovery Manager is responsible for conducting Business Impact Analyses (BIA) to identify the critical business processes, determine standard recovery timeframes, and establish the criticality ratings for each; at least every other years.
The IT Disaster Recovery Manager should be part of the ITS representation within the institution's Emergency Management Team . Recovery strategies must be implemented within a previously agreed upon period of time, generally not more than 180 days after management approval. A documented decision making process will be used to determine what subset of backup data will be additionally encrypted, and stored off-site in a secured location outside of the geographical area of the system they are backups of. That fact needs to be reflected in our recovery plans today, because routers, for example, now do more than only data. In the meantime, learn everything you can from the consultant, first and foremost because it broadens your skill set and makes you more valuable, even on other non-disaster-recovery-related projects and, second, so that you can become the flag bearer for the disaster recovery project in Phase II - not the expensive consultant.
Each IT division must develop and maintain a documented emergency plan including notification procedures. The ITS Disaster Recovery Manager is required to provide DR training and awareness activities at least twice per year. At the same time, we are reintroducing tried and tested disaster recovery planning fundamentals.


For the remainder of this chapter, we will provide some basic information about what your planning objectives should be, what it should cost, where to get resources, and where you should start. The consultants will make the compelling point that disaster recovery is important, presenting all the reasons management needs to fund and endorse the project. IT DR budgeting must be informed annually by requirements gathered in the BIA and CA as well as the ITS budgeting process. IT managers are responsible for briefing staff on their roles and responsibilities related to DR planning, including developing, updating, and testing plans. IT Managers are responsible for tracking and reporting on planned and unplanned outage spending related to the recovery and restoration effort.
The Service managers are required to prioritize their IT processes and associated assets based upon the potential detrimental impacts to the defined critical business processes. IT DR plans must provide information on Business Impact Analysis, Data Backup, Recovery, Business Resumption, Administration, Organization Responsibilities, Emergency Response & Operations, Training and Awareness and Testing.
Technological solutions for data availability, data protection, and application recovery must be considered by data gathered by the BIA and CA. All Backup data must be labeled and logged, and are available for use during an emergency within stated recovery time objectives.
Upon completion or update, DR plans must be sent to the Disaster Recovery Manager and ITS Change Manager for review. Backup strategies must comply with predefined businesses continuity requirements, including defined recovery time and point objectives.



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