Essential Guide

This Essential Guide is a collection of articles, videos and other content selected by our editors to give you a comprehensive view of this topic.

Essential guide to business continuity and disaster recovery plans

Every year, many readers report that they are not confident in their organization's ability to recover following a disaster. If you are in that boat, this collection of our best BC/DR content can help.

Business continuity and disaster recovery planning are frequently overlooked, avoided or procrastinated into oblivion. Every year, many readers report that they are not confident in their organization's ability to recover following a disaster. They frequently cite a lack of support from management because BC/DR planning can be expensive and there is no immediate return on investment. It's often compared to buying insurance -- investing in something you hope you will never need. But, it doesn't have to be that way.

Business continuity and disaster recovery planning can and should be integrated with your day-to-day operations. Over the past few years, DR planning has become more affordable and easier thanks to advancements in technologies. Creative planners are finding ways to integrate disaster recovery with other essential operations to streamline processes.

This guide offers a collection of our best business continuity and disaster recovery content. You'll find information on BC/DR planning and management; server, storage, networking and security technologies; and free downloadable templates that simplify the planning process.


1. Good planning and management are key for business continuity and disaster recovery success

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning isn't a one-time event. Good DR/BC requires ongoing management. This section offers information on conducting business impact analyses and risk assessments, how to form an incident response plan, personnel issues and training, DR testing, change management, and BC/DR standards.

Storage and servers

2. Recent storage and server developments ease BC/DR planning

Enterprise operations can grind to a halt without access to data, so it is important to have a strategy in place that allows you to get back up and running quickly following an outage. Advancements in server and storage technologies have streamlined business continuity and disaster recovery in recent years. Learn more about backup, snapshot, replication and how server virtualization can ease BC/DR by reading the articles in this section.


3. Network disaster recovery planning and building resilient networks

Learn how networking technologies such as WAN optimization can help enable data replication over distance and some of the challenges associated with this approach. The articles in this section are also about designing resilient networks, VPN considerations for DR, dealing with failover/failback issues, protecting voice and data networks, and more.

Protecting against threats

4. Security an important part of BC/DR planning

Learn how to protect your organization's data against theft or corruption from outside (or internal) attacks. As another important aspect of business continuity and disaster recovery planning, this section has info on security best practices, protecting intellectual property, access control, and encryption.


5. BC/DR planning considerations for facilities

From protection against natural events to setting up a secondary disaster recovery site or alternative workspace, BC/DR planning for an organization's facilities encompasses a wide variety of factors. Some factors may apply to many organizations, while others will be business-dependent. This articles listed in this section contain information about emergency power supplies, fire suppression, conducting damage assessments and more.


6. Key terms to aid with business continuity/disaster recovery planning

If you are just getting started with business continuity and disaster recovery, this glossary of common terms can help.