Disaster Recovery

Topics: Disaster recovery, Business continuity planning, Management Pages: 9 (2903 words) Published: November 1, 2008
This paper is intended to give you basis principles of disaster recovery planning and understanding the process. The information presented is to help prepare you to respond to a disaster and restore normal operations afterward. There is a lot of information that goes into a disaster recovery plan, so we will discuss a few of the important steps that need to be approached. One of the first things a company should do is ask what types of requirements or pressures it faces when deciding how to prioritize business processes and facilities for a disaster recovery. What departments are most important when backing up data, organizing a planning team, assessing risks in the company, establishing roles across departments, developing policies and procedures, documenting these procedures, documenting the disaster recovery procedures and finally training, testing and rehearsal for the real thing.

Planning for disaster recovery is like implementing a new system which it actually is implementing a system. To successfully manage business continuity during a disaster and restore normal operation, a company must mobilize all the resources needed to continue their operations and return to a normal state as soon as possible. Time and money in today’s economy, an hour could be worth thousands of dollars.

Some of the pressures organizations face start with getting the organization to focus on and fund business continuity, disaster recovery planning, and infrastructure. By placing business continuity and disaster recovery considerations within the business context of the IT department the contradictions are erased. This improves performance and profitability, although an investment is still required but the payoff will be worth while.

What does continuity have to do with disaster recovery? This is the difference between what the business needs at the time of the disaster and the reality of what IT can provide in terms of information availability and business functionality at the time of the disaster. This takes a great deal of management and IT working together and planning, so that the investment and risk decisions can be made based on accurate information and realistic expectations. The key is arriving at an intimate understanding of what is really needed to sustain the business and what is possible to achieve.

In developing and prioritizing a solid disaster recovery plan requires the support and participation of upper level managers, all business unit managers, may involve legal counsel and directors of all functional departments such as Human Resources, Facilities Management, IT and Corporate Security (Croy, 2007).

When prioritizing the planning and deciding which departments are most critical you must identify the business functions, systems and processes. Obtain input from Executive and Functional Managers to determine each system’s critical points.

The critical resources that are identified must include everything necessary to support the critical function, system and/or processes. Some examples of the critical resources are: servers, workstations and peripheral, applications and data, media and output, telecommunications connections, physical infrastructure such as electrical power, environmental controls and personnel. As a disaster planner you must analyze all the critical resources identified and determine the impact on the information system operations. This must include analysis for an allowable outage, i.e., how long can the organization afford to be without this resource?

Once resources and information are prioritized you can start to organize the disaster recovery planning team. The organizing team must be a well-rounded group that represents all the functions of the organization. The team represents and ensures that essential business processes are not overlooked during plan development. The team must have a designated leader or even two, which helps to maintain momentum and continuity if one leader is...
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