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How do I make a case for a business disaster recovery plan?

Developing a business disaster recovery plan requires buy-in from management as well as the building landlord.

The city where your office is located may have regulations or ordinances that specify the provision of emergency response plans and activities. For example, New York City has two requirements that can encourage uncooperative landlords to be more receptive to a business disaster recovery plan:

  • All buildings must have a fire safety plan.
  • All buildings must have an emergency action plan that addresses non-fire situations such as earthquakes, severe weather, and chemical and biological releases in the atmosphere.

You should check with your local city government for any rules or regulations that specifically support the creation of a disaster recovery (DR) plan.

If your data center is in a building with other tenants, find out if they have a DR plan. If you are developing a business disaster recovery plan for a large data center being built in a new building, you should be prepared to provide a DR plan proposal to the landlord.

One pixel Toigo: Disaster recovery is still necessary

If you are building a data center in an existing building, check to see if the building previously supported a data center with raised floors and supporting infrastructure. You may need to reconfigure certain infrastructure components (the location of power supplies and cooling equipment, for example) based on your data center design. Work with your data center architect and the building owner to underscore the importance of having a DR plan for the data center.

It may also be worthwhile to consult with the International Facility Management Association or invite a member of the local fire department to help you make your case for a business disaster recovery plan. If the building manager is unwilling to support your proposal, ensure your organization has its own plans for evacuation, DR and business continuity. Once the plans have been drafted, you should review them with your local first responder organizations.

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How have you addressed issues with your landlord over a business disaster recovery plan?
I'm not exactly following this. "Make your case for a disaster plan"? You mean, having one in the first place? On this 10-year anniversary of Katrina, it's difficult to believe that anybody still has to make a case about having one.

And seriously? There's places where creating a disaster recovery plan is *prohibited*? What in the world is the motivation for that, and why would anyone put a data center there?
Hi Sharon,

"Prohibited" wasn't the right wording. Just revised.

As far as needing to build a case for DR goes -- survey after survey shows that is a major challenge for IT planners. Lots of organizations just don't want to spend money on DR.

We try to offer content for all types of businesses. Some smaller companies might not have the budget to pick and chose where their data center is located or how much they can spend on DR. In an ideal scenario, of course you wouldn't build a data center in a less than perfect setting. But that's not reality for many organizations.

Thanks for your comment,