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Vol. 5 No. 7 September 2006

Disaster recovery: Test, test and test some more

As Hurricane Katrina proved, a DR plan is worthless unless it's tested thoroughly. When New Orleans law firm Chaffe McCall L.L.P. was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, network administrator James Zeller was in for an unpleasant awakening. Having learned to live with hurricanes, Zeller thought he was prepared for any eventuality. His disaster recovery (DR) plan was simple and, he thought, effective. With a smaller office in Baton Rouge, LA, and backup tapes stored in an offsite location, the law office's DR plan called for restoring data and applications in Baton Rouge and conducting business with users connected remotely. Zeller never tested Chaffe McCall's DR plan and its post-Katrina recovery was stymied by one surprise after another. Underpowered servers running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT Server 4.0 were unable to run apps requiring Windows Server 2000 or 2003; and the lack of suitable tape drives in the recovery site, as well as the inability of the infrastructure in Baton Rouge to cope with the increased computing and ...

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Features in this issue

  • Tricky backup for SharePoint

  • CDP: Look before you leap

    Some pundits have postulated that continuous data protection (CDP) will replace backup. But is that just new technology hyperbole or is CDP a must-have technology?

  • Backup-to-disk performance tuning

    Disk-based backup can lower costs, reduce complexity and add scalability. But to achieve top performance, you'll need to do lots of benchmarking and watch for poorly configured production storage.

Columns in this issue

  • Backup best practices are always evolving

    Some new advances in backup, such as virtual tape libraries, represent evolutionary enhancements to the traditional backup process, while others like continuous data protection and single-instance storage are potentially far more transformational.

  • 10 points to consider before deploying an e-mail archive

    Selecting an e-mail archiving application based solely on features and functions may result in unexpected administration costs. Consider these 10 points before deploying an e-mail archiver.

  • Some small tech upstarts might play big roles

    Storage Bin: The big storage vendors are always trying to steal a piece of each other's pie. But some small tech upstarts might play big parts in determining who comes out on top.