Toigo: Conduct a reality check before planning DR strategy

Disaster recovery is more than just data backup, said Jon Toigo, founder and CEO of Toigo Partners International. In this Storage Decisions presentation, Toigo discusses the questions you need to ask and the issues you need to resolve as you develop a disaster recovery strategy for your organization.

"When you talk about disaster recovery, and you talk about the strategy-building process, there are a lot of different things you have to do," Toigo said. "You have to look at 'what kinds of disaster potentials can I prevent? And, where can I have an influence to prevent the likelihood of disasters occurring at all?'"

When developing your DR strategy, he said to check with your local first responders to determine whether any of your neighbors' business activities could result in an emergency for your organization. "Talk to your local emergency management folks, and all that stuff is public record. The fire marshal of your town can tell you who is doing noxious things near you. That's kind of useful to know," said Toigo. And don't be afraid to check with the local fire department about how they respond to emergencies, and make sure that your security plans include provisions for restoring data during a recovery operation.

And while it might seem obvious, be sure to install a system that can tell you when things go wrong.

"Do you actually have alarms that detect anything and enunciate it so people can take emergency actions? I've seen a lot of shops where they got the best fire suppression system in the world, but they don't have any alarms," said Toigo.

He also recommends gathering information on how your organization uses IT equipment to determine weak points that could cause problems.

"Bottom line, we could do an awful lot if we just monitored our infrastructure, and we don't do it," Toigo said.

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