Top 10 IT disaster recovery tips of 2010

To help alleviate the problems that often arise with disaster recovery (DR) planning and testing, we've compiled our top 10 DR tips from 2010. Learn about cloud disaster recovery, DR maturity levels and more.

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IT disaster recovery (DR) planning, having effective disaster recovery plans and DR testing are all crucial aspects to business continuity (BC). Most organizations recognize the importance and significance of implementing well thought-out DR plans, but that doesn't mean they're testing them regularly. According to a June 2010 Storage magazine DR survey, 66% of respondents regularly test their plan. Although that number is up from previous...

years, it's not entirely impressive, because "59% on our current survey said they test at least twice a year, but that's down considerably from the 70% reported in 2008." So why do people test less frequently or not at all? The survey concluded that costs and staffing are the problem, "with 27% claiming they lack the staff to do DR and another 15% citing lack of funds."

To help alleviate the problems that often arise with disaster recovery planning and disaster recovery testing, we've compiled our top 10 disaster recovery tips from 2010. Download our most popular disaster recovery plan templates, discover the importance of incident response plans, evaluate your DR program's maturity level, learn about the pros and cons of cloud disaster recovery, find out how to reduce your DR costs, and more.

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Top five free disaster recovery plan templates
IT disaster recovery plans help organizations better respond to unplanned disasters. With a good DR plan in place in your environment, you could prevent hardware or software failure, network outages and most importantly, protect your staff. But putting together a disaster recovery plan can be challenging. This tip is a compilation of the top five free disaster recovery plan templates on SearchDisasterRecovery.com. Download these free templates to help you put together a well-organized DR plan.

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The importance of incident response plans in disaster recovery
Incident response plans in disaster recovery and business continuity help keep critical company data safe and secure; they are detailed step-by-step plans that outline what to do during a security breach, and they're mandatory in today's computing environments. But many enterprises choose not to implement an incident response plan in their DR environment because they don't think it's important to have one. Find out why it's important to have an incident response plan in disaster recovery in this tip.

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Evaluating your disaster recovery program's maturity level
Disaster recovery plans do a company no good unless they are regularly tested. Unfortunately, only a small number of companies strive to improve their disaster recovery plans until they reach a point where they can no longer mature. This tip provides a table that describes the level of maturity in a disaster recovery process, as well as a list of areas where many DR plans need improvement. Read the full tip on evaluating the maturity level of your disaster recovery program.

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Ten things that must be included in IT disaster recovery plans
This tip looks at 10 critical items for a successful IT disaster recovery plan. They include the following: An accurate communication or call list, a detailed script, testing and retesting the DR plan, familiarity with defined roles, a list of 24-hour supply resources, an application list, a current network diagram of the network and recovery site, map and directions to the recovery site, a vendor contact list and insurance information, and an up-to-date copy of the DR plan. Read more about these 10 things that should be included in your IT disaster recovery plan.

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Fire suppression systems and your data center disaster recovery plan
Fire safety is an important aspect in any data center disaster recovery plan and it's important to have the right type of fire suppression system for your data center. This tip explains the types of fires you might encounter in your facility, the different types of fire suppression systems available and how to choose the right one for your data center. Read the full tip on fire suppression systems for your DR plan.

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Are cloud disaster recovery services viable for the enterprise?
Cloud disaster recovery is proving to be another viable option for disaster recovery planning. But is it right for your organization? This tip discusses private clouds and how they might be an economical solution for disaster recovery and, in some cases, better than traditional solutions. This tip also explores one organization's use of a private cloud for disaster recovery. Read the full tip on cloud disaster recovery .

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Achieving cost-effective disaster recovery testing and planning: Nine areas where you can cut costs
Cost is the biggest problem for many people wanting to implement an effective disaster recovery plan in their organization. Instead of trying to make options more affordable, people often opt for the cheapest solution available. Instead, you should follow these tips to have both an affordable and effective disaster recovery plan. Read more about the nine areas where you can cut disaster recovery costs.

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Disaster recovery site requirements: Building your own DR site
Building your own disaster recovery site is an appealing option because it allows you to create a site specific to your needs, control your own DR staff as well as not deal with a vendor. However, constructing your own DR site is a big project to take on. Before you take on the task, consider factors and costs such as heating and cooling, raised floors, dropped ceilings and location. Read the full tip on disaster recovery site requirements and building your own disaster recovery site.

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Selecting a managed business continuity service provider
Managed business continuity services are a good option for many organizations; these services perform business impact analyses (BIAs) and risk assessments, as well as develop, exercise and maintain plans and training programs. This tip looks at the different types of managed business continuity service providers, the most affordable options, and how to get the most out of your provider. Read the full tip on selecting a managed business continuity service.

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The pros and cons of IT disaster recovery outsourcing
Disaster recovery outsourcing is a tempting option because of its ability to reduce DR costs. However, outsourcing is not right for every organization. This tip discusses the factors you need to consider before outsourcing your DR, different DR outsourcing options, and how to determine whether or not it's right for you. Read more about these pros and cons of disaster recovery outsourcing.

This was first published in December 2010

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