What is business continuity? Learn these DR terms

Check out this list of important BC/DR terms on SearchDisasterRecovery.com. The list includes terms you should know and some that may seem obscure.

What is business continuity? If you are new to BC/DR, you may come across a lot of terms that may be confusing

at first glance. That’s where SearchDisasterRecovery.com can help.

We’ve compiled this list of important business continuity and disaster recovery terms on SearchDisasterRecovery.com. The list includes a few terms you should know already as well as some that may seem obscure, but are no less essential for disaster preparedness.

1. What is change control?

This isn’t the first thing that most folks think of when discussing the business continuity/disaster recovery issue, but it can have a serious impact on disaster recovery. If you ignore it, it can destroy your disaster recovery plan.

2. What is a business continuity action plan?

Sometimes called an emergency plan, this document has the essential information your organization needs to stay in business when a disaster occurs. It must state your business’ essential functions in writing, should delineate which activities must occur for your business to maintain operations, and explain what it takes to put the plan into reality. It includes a contact list for your employees, suppliers, vendors and contacts; copies of key records; and an inventory of your company’s equipment and software.

3. What is synchronous replication?

Asynchronous replication is the most broadly supported replication mode, supported by array-, network- and host-based replication products. However, synchronous replication guarantees data consistency between the replication source and target.

4. What is a disaster recovery plan?

Disaster recovery planning involves both an analysis of business process and continuity needs as well as a focus on disaster prevention. Many companies rely on templates to manage aspects of disaster recovery planning such as  business impact analysis, business continuity planning, and emergency management planning.

5. What is a pandemic plan?

A pandemic plan must document how the business’ essential services will be provided in the event there is significant and sustained absenteeism. It must also explain how the business will implement and enforce non-pharmaceutical intervention. You’ll also need to learn how to address a pandemic's effects on your company and how to get started with pandemic and disaster recovery planning.

6. What is cloud disaster recovery?

Many organizations have turned to cloud storage as a means of saving space and money. But if you’re faced with a disaster, you’ll need to make sure that data is readily accessible. And there are issues involving branch offices, whether it’s appropriate for SMBs and whether cloud disaster recovery services are viable for the enterprise.

7. What is ISO 22301?

ISO 22301 is a global business continuity management standard that includes detailed practices and procedures which will offer business continuity management professionals the methodology to support their efforts. It remains a proposed standard at this point, so organizations using an existing standard should continue to do so. When reviewing your overall business continuity management program, you may consider switching to the global standard.

8. What are hot sites and cold sites?

Hot sites support your current IT production activities whereas cold sites are typically empty spaces that lack the equipment and personnel needed in the aftermath of a disaster, but do offer electricity, access to communication services, and preconfigured areas with furniture, phones, and more. When choosing between hot sites and cold sites, you must consider the level of the disaster, cost, and a variety of other factors.

9. What is a maximum tolerable period of disruption?

The maximum tolerable period of disruption is the period of time following a disaster after which an organization would be irrevocably affected if product and service delivery cannot be resumed. The two biggest factors here are recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives. You’ll need to determine your RTO and RPO before deciding your maximum tolerable period of disruption.

10. What is a business impact analysis?

It’s not easy to conduct a business impact analysis and it is incredibly time-consuming, but once you’ve completed the BIA, you can request resources and prioritize security efforts across the enterprise.

This was first published in March 2012

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