IT disaster recovery services and outsourcing guide for beginners

In our IT disaster recovery services and outsourcing guide for beginners, get the best tips on choosing an IT disaster recovery service provider.

If you conclude that your company doesn't have the resources to fully execute your disaster recovery (DR) plan in an emergency, IT disaster recovery outsourcing can be a good option. Using IT disaster recovery services can save your organization money and increase efficiency by transferring some DR functions to a disaster recovery service provider, but it also has its risks. In this guide on IT disaster recovery services, learn about...

how to find the best disaster recovery service, what to look for in a disaster recovery provider and questions to ask potential disaster recovery service providers.

IT DISASTER RECOVERY SERVICES AND OUTSOURCING GUIDE: TABLE OF CONTENTS
 Getting started with disaster recovery services
 Disaster recovery services for small businesses
 Cloud disaster recovery
 Choosing an IT disaster recovery service provider

 

  FIRST STEPS: GETTING STARTED WITH DISASTER RECOVERY SERVICES

 

IT disaster recovery outsourcing for beginners

There's a variety of different IT disaster recovery outsourcing services available. Each has a different rate, location and the services they offer can be different. But your first step should include creating a request for information (RFI)/request for proposal (RFP) questions. Get other tips like this in this expert response about getting started with disaster recovery outsourcing.

 

Disaster recovery outsourcing tutorial

 

"There are dozens of firms that can provide services that range from program development and exercising to data backup/storage and emergency recovery sites. It all comes down to the need for BC [business continuity]/DR services, availability of management support and a budget," writes Paul Kirvan, Paul Kirvan, CISA, CISSP, FBCI, CBCP, and secretary of the Business Continuity Institute. Kirvan recommends including the following items for potential disaster recovery services on your RFI:

  • Availability of equipment and/or needed services
  • One-time and recurring costs
  • Comparison of similar offers from other vendors
  • Ability to support project goals, deliverables, performance and fulfillment requirements, and liquidity damages
  • Experience stability, available services and reputation
  • Staff details including project management, project teams and their technical experience and credentials
  • Methodology that details project management, quality, regulatory compliance and security activities
  • Documented success of vendor methodology
  • Infrastructure stability and disaster recovery abilities
  • Vendor profile, strategy, mission and reputation
  • Vendor financial status, e.g., reviews of audited financial statements
  • References, preferably from similar outsourced processes
  • Quality initiatives and certifications
  • Technology, infrastructure stability and applications
  • Security and audit controls
  • Legal and regulatory compliance, including complaints or litigation
  • Policy regarding use of subcontractors
  • Insurance coverage, e.g., liability, errors and omissions
  • Vendor corporate policies for BC/DR and security

For more tips from Kirvan, check out his tutorial on business continuity and disaster recovery outsourcing.


  DISASTER RECOVERY SERVICES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

 

Disaster recovery outsourcing for small businesses

More and more small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which often don't have the

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 expertise or staffing to implement a full-scale disaster recovery plan, are turning to disaster recovery services. Learn about the unique concerns disaster recovery outsourcing presents for SMBs, and what these DR outsourcing services typically offer in this disaster recovery outsourcing services tutorial for SMBs.

 

Podcast on SMB disaster recovery service providers

Listen to this podcast from SearchStorageUK with Simon Johnson, data recovery practice lead at GlassHouse Technologies (UK). He outlines the most important disaster recovery planning options for SMBs, and whether it's best to provide disaster recovery in-house or to outsource to a DR service. Click here to listen to this podcast on disaster recovery service providers.

  CLOUD DISASTER RECOVERY SERVICES

 

Cloud computing and disaster recovery

Cloud computing is becoming an increasingly popular IT architecture decision with many companies. Pierre Dorion writes in this next tip that "cloud computing is not a disaster recovery strategy, but an architectural choice. Migrating to the cloud computing solely for DR reasons is not a common practice for many organizations. However, the cloud can definitely be leveraged and included as part of a disaster recovery strategy." Learn about cloud disaster recovery services in this tip.

Zmanda adds cloud disaster recovery to Zmanda Cloud Backup

Zmanda Inc. recently released the third generation of its Zmanda Cloud Backup (ZCB), adding cloud disaster recovery, support for Microsoft Server 2010 and bandwidth throttling to the online data backup service for SMBs. Learn about cloud disaster recovery and Zmanda Cloud Backup in this news article.


  CHOOSING AN IT DISASTER RECOVERY SERVICE PROVIDER

 

What to ask IT disaster recovery service providers

There are many questions you should ask a potential disaster recovery service provider. What recovery time objective (RTO)-recovery point objective (RPO) timeframes are offered by your service? What happens when a region-wide disaster hits? Are the designated and alternate DR sites high-availability data centers? Read this tip for a checklist of questions to ask a potential disaster recovery services providers.

A sampling of disaster recovery providers

There are many IT disaster recovery service providers to choose from. But what services are actually included? Which ones are best for large organizations, and which ones are better suited for SMBs? Check out this listing of disaster recovery service providers for disaster recovery and business continuity turnkey services. Click here to read our sampling of disaster recovery providers.

 EDITOR'S TIP: Bookmark our special section on disaster recovery services and disaster recovery outsourcing. Stay on top of the latest news, tips and expert advice on disaster recovery outsourcing and services. Also, be sure to check out our other disaster recovery planning guide for beginners.

This was first published in July 2010

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