From the unexpected absence of a key staff member to a natural disaster, threats to your ability to maintain your business can come from anywhere at any time.
For each identified risk, there are two possible solutions to consider, avoidance and mitigation. Post-incident recovery is an essential element in mitigating the effects of specific incidents, ensuring that operations are resumed as quickly as possible and before any secondary damage (to client lists or reputation) is incurred.
DR, business resumption and emergency preparedness are three integrated components of a business continuity management solution. The clear disaster scope definition will help in setting up the expectations very clearly and iron out all issues in the scope. One of the other major challenges faced in resource planning is end of life (EOL) hardware. Lesson Learned: Provision for a DR solution should be mentioned clearly in the software agreement and coordination with procurement and legal is vital in handling software licenses for the DR environment.
Sometimes it may be necessary to conduct a BIA in a very short time and it may not be possible to conduct a detailed BIA for all the applications in the organization. In general, DR solutions cost too much, requiring enormous investment in additional server and networking hardware to replicate existing data centers – increasing infrastructure needs accordingly. It may be very difficult to convince management to purchase new hardware when it is known to everyone that new hardware is going to be kept idle until a disaster strikes the primary site.
In a time of disaster, there is a tremendous amount of pressure and stress to get everything back up and running and available to users. Also, traditional recovery procedures involve several groups such as operating system, database, etc.
ITS senior management is responsible for ensuring sufficient financial, personnel and other resources are available as needed. 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. Plans must be developed, tested, and maintained to support the 2.a objectives of the Program, and those plans should include relevant IT infrastructure, computer systems, network elements, and applications. 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 tracking and reporting on planned and unplanned outage spending related to the recovery and restoration effort.
ITS must maintain a single, comprehensive electronic inventory of all servers, network equipment, relevant configuration, and model information, and the applications they support.
Plans must identify risk exposure and either accept the risk or propose mitigation solution(s). The ITS Disaster Recovery Manager is required to provide DR training and awareness activities at least twice per year. This is why the continuity plan needs to be a living document that takes account of feedback from tests and genuine emergencies. To read the second article in this series, go to Emergency Preparedness Planning 2: Risk Assessment. This first-of-its-kind system for both business continuity and many other areas of Governance, Operational Risk and Compliance (GRC) is powerful, but often best viewed with some of your familiar plans, data and templates. When this happens, the application at the alternate location is incomplete and applications will not function as required in the event of a disaster. Scheduler-based or script-based solutions are implemented for replication wherever it is not feasible or economical to replicate through SAN. Some of the lessons and best practices mentioned in this document can be utilized to create viable and successful DR and business continuity solutions for clients.
Unplanned events such as extreme weather, transport disruption and technical outages can all have a serious impact on your business operations.
During an outage, IT Managers may incur special recovery and restoration costs that are unbudgeted.
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.
So the DR project team should ensure a mutually agreed cutoff date and communicate to the application team that the DR environment will be similar to production as of that cutoff date. Simple UNIX scripts can be used to automate most of the steps in the recovery procedure which can simplify the steps and avoid any manual error in syntax and reduce the recovery time. These steps are helpful to have a better recovery procedure to respond very quickly to any disaster incident. The continuity plan must include communication with stakeholders for all such emergencies, even when the risk to the business has been avoided. One of the common challenges in conducting a BIA is explaining RTO and RPO to the business users and ensuring that there is no duplication or overlap in any impacts among the upstream and downstream applications.
This will avoid any mismatch between data restored between different applications or databases and data integrity across different components of the application group.
Outside IT consultants can see the big picture when it comes to disaster recovery planning.
We help you to identify mission-critical workflows, as well as secondary processes, allowing you to focus your Disaster control budget on business priorities.
Let us help determine your levels of risks, the business and technical requirements and the organizational priorities that are needed to resume business as usual in the case of a disaster. It can save you countless hours of trying to determine the next logical step if and when a disaster happens.
At Netwave Technology Solutions we think of this as more of a plan of action than anything else.
For many larger businesses, emergency and disaster recovery planning is a widely accepted and understood requirement.
Disaster recovery planning and the process of getting the business back up and running is crucial. The goals of a business continuity plan should be to maintain maximum possible service levels during any event, and ensure that business critical departments recover from interruptions as quickly as possible. Continuity plans must be regularly tested, as unforeseen emergency situations can arise at any time.

Having a system that accommodates both day-to-day group communications as well as emergency messaging and can reach people via voice messages, SMS texts, emails or even social media sites can change the game: from not prepared in emergency situations, to business running as normal even in the event of factors that would normally threaten business continuity. Begin your Emergency Preparedness Planning now with a free online demonstration of Regroup’s powerful, secure and easy-to-use group messaging and emergency notification system today or for more information, talk to a Regroup Communications Consultant at 775-476-8710. Disaster recovery addresses recovery of critical IT infrastructure such as hardware, software, telecom, network and data for bringing up the mission critical applications to support the business. Lesson Learned: Proper hardware identification and sizing is a major challenge in setting up a new DR environment. Lesson Learned: Ensure that the BIA is clearly understood by the person filling it out, and validate the financial impact with respective finance teams to avoid any errors in impact estimation. One solution considered in those cases is to use the old hardware for DR and use the new hardware as production. Lesson Learned: Simple UNIX scripts can make the recovery steps less complex, avoid manual errors and reduce the recovery time substantially.
The DR Manager will review and update the DR Policy as necessary at least every other year.
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. 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. All Backup data must be labeled and logged, and are available for use during an emergency within stated recovery time objectives. Backup strategies must comply with predefined businesses continuity requirements, including defined recovery time and point objectives. IT managers are responsible for briefing staff on their roles and responsibilities related to DR planning, including developing, updating, and testing plans. From brainstorming threat scenarios to notifying customers about service changes, having a robust and reliable mass communication system is the critical to your plan’s success. There will be a potential delay because of these changes and upgrades in completing the DR project. This will be a common case if the application is older and has been in use for more than 10-15 years. He is a certified professional and has hands on experience in implementing Disaster Recovery solutions.
We harness the power of cloud computing to deliver a real alternative to traditional solutions, at a fraction of the cost.
However, recent technological and information advances mean that no business, large or small, has an excuse not to be prepared. Also, the DR environment should be integrated with the organization’s change management process to avoid any manual errors. Therefore, in order to build a fast, multi-channel and reliable communication method during an emergency, some of the emergency communication tools can be included in the crisis communication plan. After the cutoff date if any changes happen in production, the application team has to communicate and implement the same changes to the DR environment also.
It may be necessary to conduct several awareness sessions and meetings to ensure all the doubts are clarified. Outsourcing your Disaster Planning, data backup & recovery to Technology Solutions results in fewer down times and shorter recoveries, keeping information available, employees productive and customers satisfied. Contact Technology Solutions for more information on how IT outsourcing can help you create the most secure disaster recovery plan for your company.
Technology Solutions IT consultants provide comprehensive disaster recovery planning services that can avoid lost data, lost revenue, lost customers and lost opportunities. Smaller businesses, for whom the impacts of any event could be significantly greater, can often overlook the necessity for disaster recovery planning. Emergency planning and disaster recovery is not simply about preparing for a terrorist attack or earthquake, being prepared for a power outage or unexpected staff absence or incident can equally help in ensuring business continuity. Once you know what your risks are, what their impact might be and the likelihood of them arising, you can begin planning how to avoid or mitigate them. A formal escalation schedule should be implemented as clearly as possible, detailing the steps to be taken to involve staff and the emergency services must be included.
This is where the continuity plan really comes into its own, in providing detailed instructions on mitigating the effects of risks and minimizing disruption.
Lesson Learned: A complete BCM solution requires the tight integration of emergency preparedness, disaster recovery and business resumption. Another major issue faced is in arranging software licenses, specifically for databases and other middleware applications in the DR environment. Also, it is mandatory to analyze the consolidation and virtualization options while planning any hardware requirements for DR which can reduce the hardware requirements considerably. Also, when we are deploying SAN-based replication, other issues to be considered are ensuring data integrity among application group and temporary replication link failures. 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. Technological solutions for data availability, data protection, and application recovery must be considered by data gathered by the BIA and CA. Upon completion or update, DR plans must be sent to the Disaster Recovery Manager and ITS Change Manager for review. Approved recovery strategies must be tested to ensure they meet required recovery time and recovery point objectives.
In those cases, it is suggested to first have a discussion with senior management of each business division to identify the candidates for a detailed BIA. 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. To read the third article in this series, go to Emergency Preparedness Planning 3: Continuity Planning.
It is also necessary that the audit team and IT support team be involved in the discussion and short listing of the applications which are considered as very critical by respective business units. He has implemented and managed Information Security Management System (ISMS) based on industry standards like ISO27001 and ITIL.

Placing a Quorum® OnQ Hybrid cloud or an onQ appliance at a remote facility- your own or that from a provider- offers complete One-Click Recovery. Even though most plans will be similar for all small businesses, Netwave Technology Solutions still takes the approach that your business is unique enough, that we need to fully analyze your business practices to be able to prioritize the plan of action for each scenario.
Growing reliance on Information Technology, along with compliance and regulatory requirements has led many organizations to focus on business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) solutions. Lesson Learned: Consolidation, Virtualization and Repurposing software will be very useful in optimizing the cost of hardware.
Another solution available is to have a snapshot solution along with SAN replication which helps to recover from the last snapshot. 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. Recovery strategies must be implemented within a previously agreed upon period of time, generally not more than 180 days after management approval. Another solution may be to use repurposing software which can allow servers to be used as a staging or QA environment during normal circumstances and bring up the DR environment quickly when disaster strikes.
This document lays down some of the best practices and learning for implementing disaster recovery solutions. These cost and complexity challenges have effectively restricted or degraded many IT disaster recovery plans.
Even when this is the case, the continuity plan must still address them, an earthquake proof building is of no benefit unless staff are instructed to congregate in it and other safe areas. If your primary site goes off-line for any reason, your administrator will be alerted and with a single click the onQ™ virtual Recovery Node(s) will transparently take over.
Our years of experience will help minimize the effects of any level of disaster and have you back to day to day operations in no time. To read the 4th article, go to Emergency Preparedness Planning 4: Disaster prevention and avoidance.
A disaster recovery plan is only as effective as the ability to communicate with and activate the recovery team.
ITS is required to create disaster recovery plans for the IT portion - including services, systems, and assets - of critical business processes.
It is recommended to reduce these levels of dependency to a minimum level and create a first responder who can run all these procedures alone as an immediate step and contact the respective administrators only when there is an issue in the procedure.
It is possible to have a perfectly functioning redundant data center and still business cannot continue. QuorumWith one-click data recovery, your company is back online within minutes of a server failure.
Global changes in business models, heavier reliance on information technology, and recent developments in disaster recovery technologies are forcing organizations to reformulate their DR solutions. 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.
Some of the SAN replication solutions have the built-in feature of having the time stamp on the replication copies and enables recovery from the previous copies. The information shared in this document is based on the experience, obtained during the execution of disaster recovery implementation projects. A disaster recovery plan includes several different topics including but not limited to, virus protection, automated backup, security and data encryption and even theft prevention. Shankar Subramaniyan, CISSP, CISM, PMP, ABCP, has more than 13 years of experience as a technology consulting and project management executive in the areas of IT Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC), and Business Continuity Planning.
For each risk or vulnerability identified in the Capability Review and Risk Assessment, a mitigation or preventive solution must be identified. When an emergency strikes, it may not be effective and reliable to use the traditional methods of calling by phone each and everyone individually.
So it is important that all the below three components of business continuity management are tightly coupled and integrated to ensure successful business continuity. At Netwave Technology Solutions we believe that disaster recovery and business continuity planning go hand in hand. Take advantage of the Cloud for a flexible approach to business continuity and emergency planning.
The IT Disaster Recovery Manager should be part of the ITS representation within the institution's Emergency Management Team .
If any changes or upgrades are required, first it should be implemented in production before the cutoff date and the DR environment will be implemented similar to production as on that date and it will not have any new or additional features. Disaster Recovery for ContactWorld is an innovative new approach to providing a robust DR plan for your business. Each IT division must develop and maintain a documented emergency plan including notification procedures. Procurement, legal and the senior management team should be involved to resolve this issue. You benefit from enhanced features, and increased flexibility, to keep you running - no matter what challenges your business faces. Having a simplified and automated disaster recovery processes would eliminate the unnecessary time delay and manual errors during the recovery.
The service is activated with one phone call to the NewVoiceMedia service desk and the switchover is initiated in minutes.
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.

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