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What DR Means for the SMB
It’s no secret that, in the business world, time is money; especially in the small business environment. In today's highly competitive market, businesses need to be running close to maximum capacity in order to stay alive. As such, a disaster (natural or otherwise) could result in major losses if it lasts a significant amount of time. Correcting issues and restoring the network to a normal operating state is therefore priority one. Obviously this is easier said than done. With so many variables to consider, how can one hope to strategize for all possible contingencies? Two words: Planning and Practice. This will be covered in more depth in Part 3 and can sometimes be very challenging. However, there are still some preliminary steps that must take place before this stage.
Disaster Recovery is a process. This means that there is a logical order to how it should be executed. Close attention to details is extremely important but knowing these details in and out only helps YOU in the event a recovery is necessary. Documenting every single step of the disaster recovery process is absolutely essential. This cannot be overlooked or brushed aside. In the event of a real disaster things can get crazy making it very easy to miss something or perform steps in the wrong order. If for some reason you or your IT team is unable to execute the recovery, documentation should be accessible for others to reference in your absence. Remember, it's important to document before AND after a recovery. You need to know what to do but you also need to know what you DID. This kind of post-recovery documentation will help you modify and strengthen your current plan if necessary.
It's also important to understand all of the intricacies of your network environment before you begin the disaster recovery planning process. Networks can be very complicated when considering how "intertwined" the pieces are with one another. Then again, that's inherent in the definition of a network! Plot out the network in a logical manner using diagrams, flowcharts, or whatever method you find most useful. It's usually much easier to understand a complicated network and how all of the pieces fit together by using a graphical representation. Once you have a grasp of how your network should function when all the parts are working, you can begin the planning phase. After the planning phase is complete it's time for testing. Stay tuned for Part 3: Scheduling DR Exercises.
Disaster Recovery: Part 2
Recovering from a disaster (whether it be natural or otherwise) can be a daunting task when it comes to a computer network. Disaster recovery is a type of "battle plan" that defines how you will return your network to an operational state. This is an important step in ensuring system security.