IT Disaster Recovery and a Business Continuity Plan

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IT Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity (BC) aren’t just slogans in business and in IT. Due to the fact that in almost every major field of business it has been imperative for IT and Network Managers to depend on a Wide Area Network (WAN) and grow their network infrastructure at a rapid pace, those entities must also devise a practical and workable DR and BC plan.
The primary objective of an IT Disaster Recovery Plan (Business Continuity Plan) is the description of how an organization will deal with potential natural or human-induced disasters. The disaster recovery plan steps that every enterprise incorporates as part of business management includes the guidelines and procedures to be undertaken to effectively respond to and recover from disaster recovery scenarios, which adversely impacts information systems and business operations. Plan steps that are well-constructed and implemented will enable organizations to minimize the effects of the disaster and resume mission-critical functions quickly.
Business Continuity or DRP steps involve an extensive analysis of an organizations business processes, IT infrastructure, data backup, resources, continuity requirements and disaster prevention methods. Secondly, it is the process of creating a comprehensive document encompassing details that will aid businesses in recovering from catastrophic events. Developing a disaster recovery plan differs between enterprises based on business type, processes, the security levels needed, and the organization size. Although there are many stages involved in developing an effective Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity plan, the key phases and the plan steps are outlined below:
Phase I – Data Collection
Project should be organized with timeline, resources, and expected output
Business impact analysis should be conducted at regular intervals
Risk assessment should be conducted regularly
Onsite and Offsite Backup and Recovery procedures should be reviewed
Alternate site location must be selected and ready for use
Phase II – Plan Development and Testing
Development of Disaster Recovery Plan
Testing the plan
Phase III – Monitoring and Maintenance
Maintenance of the Plan through updates and review
Periodic inspection of DRP
Documentation of changes
A Disaster Recovery team is selected within the organization, which can actively be involved in creating the plan steps and implementing and maintaining the plan. As a priority, organizations should create a DRP template framework as a basis for developing Disaster Recovery plans. The following steps are taken in creating an efficient disaster recovery or business continuity planning:
Disaster Recovery Plan Criteria
A documentation of the procedures as to declaring emergency, evacuation of site pertaining to nature of disaster, active backup, notification of the related officials/DR team/staff, notification of procedures to be followed when disaster breaks out, alternate location specifications, should all be maintained. It is beneficial to be prepared in advance with sample DRPs and disaster recovery examples so that every individual in an organization are better educated on the basics. A workable business continuity planning template or scenario plans are available with most IT-based organizations to train employees with the procedures to be carried out in the event of a catastrophe.
DR Team Roles and Responsibilities
Documentation should include identification and contact details of key personnel in the disaster recovery team, their roles and responsibilities in the team.
Contingency Procedures
The routine to be established when operating in contingency mode should be determined and documented. It should include inventory of systems and equipment in the location; descriptions of process, equipment, software; minimum requirements of processing; location of vital records with categories; descriptions of data and communication networks, and customer/vendor details. A resource planning should be developed for operating in emergency mode. The essential procedures to restore normalcy and business continuity must be listed out, including the plan steps for recovering lost data and to restore normal operating mode.
Testing and Maintenance
The dates of testing, disaster recovery scenario, and plans for each scenario should be documented. Maintenance involves record of scheduled review on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly basis; reviews of plans, teams, activities, tasks accomplished and complete documentation review and update.
The disaster recovery plan developed thereby should be tested for efficiency. To aid in that function a test strategy and corresponding test plan should be developed and administered. The results obtained should be recorded, analyzed, and modified as required. Organizations realize the importance of business continuity plans that keep their business operations continuing without any hindrance. Disaster recovery planning is a crucial component of today’s network-based organizations that determine productivity, and business continuity.
For more information on IT Disaster Recovery and IT Data Security please contact Alliance InfoSystems by emailing .

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