Midmarket CIOs are as likely as not to have overlooked drawing up a business continuity plan. Almost half of midmarket firms have poor disaster recovery plans, according to one estimate.
Then the motherboard on the company's Novell NetWare system burned out, triggering a cascade of server failures that brought business to a halt. To view our complete multimedia package, visit our disaster recovery and business continuity supercast.
While DR planning may be more challenging for resource-strapped midmarket businesses than large enterprises, there still are basic ways to ensure a timely recovery and maximal continuity. The first step is to conduct a detailed review of the vulnerabilities that IT and the overall business face by performing a business impact analysis (BIA). Gartner analyst Donna Scott says a BIA needs to be a joint project between business and IT. CompuCom solutions architect Charley Ballmer created a BIA for LifeGift, assessing hurricanes and flooding as the most likely disasters, followed by a terrorist attack on the local petroleum industry. When Chris Formes became IT manager at Brookfield Homes, the $888 million public company didn't have a DR plan, so he hired a contractor to perform a threat assessment and design a recovery strategy.
At the House of LaRose, Brinegar went to management after the New Year's Eve outage and campaigned for a DR plan.
Once the plan is in place, one of the most crucial decisions is whether IT has the expertise and resources to implement the project or if outside help is needed. If the decision is to seek help, consider using systems integrators or complete outsourcing services.
At LifeGift, updating the DR plan as technology changes is easy; the company was pleased enough with CompuCom that it outsourced all of its IT to the firm.
Testing carries some risk, requiring scheduled downtime and potential business consequences.
It's not just the technology but also the process that needs a dry run so that everybody knows what to do in the event of an actual disaster.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan for small businesses need effectual strategies to deal with and to recover from disrupting occurrences. It is apparent that disasters such as earthquake, floods, hurricanes and several other disasters inflict thousands of businesses to suffer heavy losses and many of them even get locked. As an owner of a small business, it becomes unavoidable to protect critical units of your organization, including your IT server room, power utilities, and highly expensive and heavy equipments including employees and customers from injury within your business premises in an event of disaster. Hey Joe, I’m setting up a very similar DR Plan, as I read the VMWare license for Essentials Plus it only allows for 1 copy of VCenter.

With nearly every resource a business uses these days being served through a browser, every application is now a URL.
Publicly traded companies face Sarbanes-Oxley Act mandates for data retention, while private companies in industries as different as the wine business and finance must meet government regulations for record-keeping and service continuity.
This should cover what threats are likely (power outage, natural disaster, terrorism) and the possible consequences in terms of lost revenue, productivity and reputation. A BIA is focused on assessing the criticality of business processes and the applications used within them, as well as the impact when the applications and infrastructure are not available for varying periods of time. When Hurricane Rita was headed for Houston a couple of years ago, the LifeGift Organ Donation Center implemented its DR plan: The IT staff loaded equipment on a truck and drove it to Dallas. The BIA ranked LifeGift's most critical business processes as organ tracking and patient communication, establishing a 15-minute RTO for those apps, while accounting was given a 24-hour failover period.
At the highest level of failover continuity, the plan would have required a $200,000 hardware investment and $90,000 the first year in service costs.
The company also rolled out Mimosa Systems' NearPoint email solution to archive its Microsoft Exchange server data. CIOs should make a case for DR investment so that the business owners can go after the funding.
Forrester reports that most of the enterprises surveyed found that implementing a DR plan required more work than expected. Periodic reviews are necessary to make sure changes to the IT infrastructure don't make plans moot. Management realized it needed a better plan and contracted with CompuCom, a Dallas-based IT services firm, to take over DR planning. Effective DR requires full testing once a year and after any changes have been made that affect the plan. Also establish recovery time objectives (RTOs), or the time to full resumption, and recovery point objectives (RPOs), which specify the amount of data loss acceptable in terms of minutes or hours. This solution builds on some key enhancements in Windows Server 2012 R2 HVR around variable replication frequency, support for near-sync, and extended replication. From a management standpoint, we provide a DR solution via Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM), that is integrated with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM). HRM builds on the world-class assets of Windows Server, System Center, and Windows Azure and it is delivered via the Windows Azure Management Portal. With these facts in mind, the control plane of our solution (HRM) is delivered as a cloud service we call DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service). HRM manages multiple sites, as well as complex inter-site relationships, thereby enabling a customer to create a comprehensive DR plan.

On the deployment side, HRM requires only one provider to be installed per VMM server (a single VMM server can manage 1,000 virtual hosts), thereby addressing the ever-present issue of complexity (the single most important blocker of DR deployments today).
The service itself is in Windows Azure and the provider installed on the VMM servers sends the metadata of the private clouds to the service, which then uses it to orchestrate the protection and recovery of the assets in the private cloud. The VMM Server can be behind a proxy for higher security and HRM will continue to work seamlessly once you choose the right option in your registration. In the early configure phase, you should map the resources of your primary and secondary sites such that during failover the secondary site provides the resources needed for business continuity. This ensures business continuity in the true sense, as the workloads are not just up and running but also accessible to the clients.
It even works for heterogeneous deployments, wherein the networks on primary and recovery sites are of different types.
For example, the replica virtual machine of Marketing is attached to Network Marketing Recovery since (a) the primary virtual machine is connected to Network Marketing and (b) Network Marketing in turn is mapped to Network Marketing Recovery.
These documents are cumbersome to maintain and even if someone made the effort to keep these documents up-to-date, they were prone to the risk of human errors by the staff hired to execute these plans. For example, in a quick glance customers can identify the last test failover of a plan or how long ago they did a planned failover of a recovery plan. Based on the Virtual Machines participating, the HRM service figures out the VM Networks needed, creates them, and attaches the Virtual Machines to the right VM Networks.
Some compliance requirements for organizations mandate the failover of workloads twice-a-year to the recovery site and then running it there for a week.
As part of PFO, the Virtual Machines are shut-down, the last changes sent over to ensure zero data loss, and then virtual machines are brought up in order on the recovery site. But, in eventualities such as natural disasters, this ensures that designated applications can continue to function. In the event of unplanned failovers, HRM attempts to shut down the primary machines in case some of the virtual machines are still running when the disaster strikes. HRM works seamlessly in this case: You can failover the VMM service from one VMM server to another and the management and orchestration will fail over seamlessly.
HRM supports a single VMM scenario and enables pairing of clouds administered by the same VMM Server.
Delivered as a service in Azure, HRM is designed to enable protection for many workloads that are currently lacking protection, thereby improving business continuity for organizations.

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