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Plan for the worst

A start to thinking about disaster planning.

Plan for the worst
Rick Cook

How many of us, in the numbed shock of and after 9/11/2001, didn't think about what the IT managers who survived now had to go through. All those records lost. But they had a backup. But the systems were gone. The networks rubble. The servers pounded into dust. How do you recover? There's a lot more to disaster planning than backups.

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Although we tend to think of disaster recovery planning as a matter of having secure backups, it actually extends to the heart of IT administration. Storage administrators need to think beyond backups when it comes to planning for disaster recovery.

For example it is one thing to have the data safely backed up, but can you restore it if your primary system is destroyed or unavailable? Do you have access to enough disk space in the right configuration at your disaster recovery site to handle current and near-future needs? Do you have the storage management tools you will need to administer from the site? Can you maintain data security when running from a disaster recovery center? And can you do it all with existing staff on a moment's notice?

To get an idea of some of the more sophisticated implications of disaster planning and recovery, take some time to study the information available on the subjects. Davis Logic ( provides a place to start, with links to other disaster recovery resources.

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Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

Related Book

Disaster Recovery Planning: Strategies for Protecting Critical Information Assets, 2/e
by Jon William Toigo
Online Price: $49.00
Publisher Name: Prentice Hall
Date published: January 2000
The most complete guide to data protection, disaster recovery avoidance, and disaster recovery tools, techniques, and technologies! Disaster Recovery Planning, Second Edition shows exactly how to implement world-class disaster recovery for today's distributed environments-without paying for expensive consultants or proprietary methodologies! Veteran planner and analyst Jon William Toigo delivers strategies and insight that any company can use, large or small. You'll find comprehensive coverage of disaster recovery techniques that reflect the latest technologies in data storage, networks, server systems, and the Internet.

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