disaster recovery

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disaster recovery

(DR) Planning and implementation of procedures and facilities for use when essential systems are not available for a period long enough to have a significant impact on the business, e.g. when the head office is blown up.

Disasters include natural: fire, flood, lightning, hurricane; hardware: power failure, component failure, head crash; software failure: bugs, resources; vandalism: arson, bombing, cracking, theft; data corruption or loss: human error, media failure; communications: computer network equipment, network storm, telephones; security: passwords compromised, computer virus; legal: change in legislation; personnel: unavailability of essential staff, industrial action.

Companies need to plan for disaster: before: risk analysis, preventive measures, training; during: how should staff and systems respond; after: recovery measures, post mortem analysis.

Hardware can usually be replaced and is usually insured. Software and data needs to be backed up off site. Alternative communication systems should be arranged in case of network failure or inaccessible premises, e.g. emergency telephone number, home working, alternative data center.

disaster recovery

A plan for duplicating computer operations after a catastrophe occurs, such as a fire or earthquake. It includes routine off-site backup as well as a procedure for activating vital information systems in a new location.

The ability to recover information systems quickly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 proved the value of disaster recovery. Many companies that had programs in place were up and running within a few days in new locations. Companies that did not have disaster recovery systems had the most difficulty recreating their information infrastructure. See business continuity, data recovery, backup and contingency plan.
References in periodicals archive ?
Testing a disaster recovery plan helps to ensure that when a business-disrupting incident occurs, operating in a business-as-usual mode is not just a goal but a reality.
More than 75% of respondents did not have a disaster recovery plan in place prior to Hurricane Sandy.
Include IT infrastructure in the disaster recovery plan but don't confine the focus to that nerve center.
Businesses in the Middle East, Turkey and Morocco are also failing to take advantage of insurance premium benefits that a comprehensive disaster recovery plan can engender.
Greg Philp, of HB&O, said: "Prior to the riots, severe floods across the country saw an increasing amount of insurance companies insisting firms have a disaster recovery plan in place - and in light of recent events the number insisting on this type of plan is likely to increase.
As a result, broadcasters' disaster recovery plans, which are normally arcane, are in the spotlight.
The IT disaster recovery plan should be regularly tested for a range of scenarios from temporary power losses through to the complete loss of a server.
To protect themselves, companies need to not only strengthen their defenses but make sure they have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place and that they keep it up to date and exercise it to assess its effectiveness from time to time.
A disaster recovery plan should interface with the overall business continuity management plan, be clear and concise, focus on the key activities required to recover the critical IT services, be tested reviewed and updated on a regular basis, have an owner, and enable the recovery objectives to be met.
When that storm has you in its sights is not the time to be fumbling for a disaster recovery plan. A strategy better be in place and account for every foreseeable outcome.
Alan Worthing, business sales manager, said: "Onyx Group aims to provide a complete disaster recovery plan, including equipment and facilities."
Having a credible disaster recovery plan is now an essential requirement of leading business accreditation organisations, regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and the purchasing departments of a growing number of businesses.

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