A disaster recovery planning guide for beginners

In this disaster recovery planning guide, we've got the best tips to get you started with your DR plan.

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A thorough, up to date, well-tested IT disaster recovery (DR) plan is critical to keeping your company's data safe in the event of an emergency, whether it's a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood, a pandemic, or a man-made disaster. But getting started with DR planning can be tricky, especially if you're new to the field of DR. In this disaster recovery planning guide for beginners, we've compiled our best resources to ensure...

that your disaster recovery plan is comprehensive, up to date and ready to go in the event of an emergency. In this section of our disaster recovery guide, learn about the basics of putting together your disaster recovery plan, how to keep your plan current and what the top disaster recovery planning trends of the year are.

DISASTER RECOVERY PLANNING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS: TABLE OF CONTENTS 
 Getting started with disaster recovery planning 
 Putting together your disaster recovery plan 
 Disaster recovery plan maintenance 


 

  FIRST STEPS: GETTING STARTED WITH DISASTER RECOVERY PLANNING 

 

What you need in a disaster recovery plan

Did you know that recent reports indicate that as many as half of all small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don't even have a business continuity (BC) plan or a disaster recovery plan? And the businesses that do have plans often find they don't have the right information included in them when disaster strikes. Make sure your organization is ready. Read this tip to learn what you need in a disaster recovery plan.

Ten things to have in a successful IT disaster recovery plan

There are many items that are required in IT disaster recovery plans -- some are location-specific but some are more generic. This article will discuss the items critical for the success of your IT disaster recovery plan. Organizations may differ on the priority or of these items, but they must exist somewhere within the DR plan. Read this article to learn about 10 things you must have in your disaster recovery plan.


 

  NEXT STEPS: PUTTING TOGETHER YOUR DR PLAN 

 

IT disaster recovery plan templates can help you get started

IT disaster recovery plans provide step-by-step procedures for recovering disrupted systems and networks, and help them resume normal operations. The goal of these processes is to minimize any negative impact to company operations. The IT disaster recovery process identifies critical IT systems and networks; prioritizes their recovery time objective; and delineates the steps needed to restart, reconfigure, and recover them. A comprehensive IT DR plan also includes all the relevant supplier contacts, sources of expertise for recovering disrupted systems and a logical sequence of action steps to take for a smooth recovery. To help you get started with IT DR planning, download our free IT disaster recovery template.

In disaster recovery planning, preparation is key

Now that we you know what you should put in your DR plan, lean about how to approach a DR planning effort. What steps are required to make a successful DR plan? If you're just getting started with DR planning, this article will give you a roadmap to get you moving in the right direction and help you stay on track. Read this article to learn what's involved in IT disaster recovery preparation.


 

  DISASTER RECOVERY PLAN MAINTENANCE 

 

A guide on keeping your disaster recovery plan up to date

It's tough to keep disaster recovery plans current when your company is constantly changing and growing. Disaster recovery plans that are allowed to become out of date over time become useless. For many companies, a plan that is two or three years old will likely not reflect their current environment unless it was kept up to date and will be difficult to execute in the event of a disaster, especially if the people following it are not fully aware of some of the changes. The items in this article are typically where most DR plan problems occur. In this guide on disaster recovery, study this list of items that will help you keep your disaster recovery plan up to date.

More disaster recovery planning guides
Download our free guide on developing a disaster recovery plan

Read our virtualization and disaster recovery planning guide

Learn about putting together a business impact analysis in this guide

Keep your plan up to date with change management policies

So now you have a DR plan, but how to make sure it stays up-to-date? You can't do this unless you have a change control process in place. What is change management? Change management is a formal process that ensures changes to a product, process, or system, and is introduced and implemented in a controlled and coordinated manner. It reduces the possibility that unnecessary changes will be introduced without planning and analysis, which can result in faults in the system or processes. The goals of change management in disaster recovery and business continuity planning include minimal disruption to operations, reduction of back-out (return to a previous state) activities and cost-effective use of resources for implementing changes. In this article, learn all about change management for disaster recovery professionals.

How to trim your disaster recovery budget

One of the biggest reasons many companies don't have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is cost. Even though your company may be short of funds that doesn't mean you should go without a DR plan. Read this article to learn about nine ways you can trim your DR budget and cut disaster recovery planning costs.

Disaster recovery planning trends for 2010

Throughout 2009, many aspects of IT were impacted by the slow economy, and cost-efficient IT grew in popularity. With shrinking IT budgets and staff cuts, disaster recovery (DR) planning was pushed to the back burner, and many companies focused only on essential and ROI projects. Disaster recovery technologies are often changing and new improvements are being made so it's important to stay current. This article outlines some of the DR trends for the IT industry for the next year, and how you can plan the most effective disaster recovery strategy for 2010.

For even more disaster recovery planning tips and disaster recovery guides, bookmark our special section on disaster recovery management.

This was first published in June 2010

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