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Disaster Recovery 100 Success Secrets:

IT Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery Planning and Services

Notice of Rights: Copyright © Gerard Blokdijk. All rights reserved. No part of this

book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Notice of Liability: The information in this book is distributed on an “As Is” basis

without warranty. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of the book, neither the author nor the publisher shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the instructions contained in this book or by the products described in it.

Trademarks: Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to

distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and the publisher was aware of a trademark claim, the designations appear as requested by the owner of the trademark. All other product names and services identified throughout this book are used in editorial fashion only and for the benefit of such companies with no intention of infringement of the trademark. No such use, or the use of any trade name, is intended to convey endorsement or other affiliation with this book.

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Foreword

There has never been a book like this.

Disaster Recovery 100 Success Secrets is not about the long-winded ins and outs of Disaster Recovery. Instead, it answers the top 100 contemporary questions that we are asked and come across daily in professional forums, consultancy and education programs.

The author uncovers the questions that matter, with straightforward, highly accessible tips that have never before been offered in print. This book is not about exhaustive best practice and standards details. Instead, it addresses the key strategic points you want to know to be successful in IT Business Continuity, Contingency Planning and Disaster Recovery.

The Secrets are right here – reach out and grasp Success with both hands.

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Table of Contents

Innovation of an AS/400 Disaster Recovery System ... 13 Bank Disaster Recovery Planning Goes beyond the Usual ... 15 The Disaster Recovery Journal - Providing

Solutions to Ensure Business Continuity... 17 Establishing Backup Disaster Recovery Sites for Business Continuity ... 19 Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery – Roles Intertwined ... 21 The Benefits of Having a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan ... 23 Disaster Recovery Plan for Floods – Protecting Computer Databases When Calamity Strikes ... 25 The Five Main Phases of a BCP Manual for

Computer Disaster Recovery ... 27 How to Pursue Outsourcing of Computer Disaster Plan Recovery ... 29 Should We Be Concerned About Computer

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The Value of Preparing a Computer Disaster

Recovery Plan Beforehand ... 33 How Do I Find a Reputable Contractor Disaster Recovery Specialist? ... 35 How is Critical Disaster Information Recovery Conducted? ... 37 Disaster Recovery Measures in the Data Center .. 39 Data Disaster Recovery – Restoring Information from Damaged Media ... 41 What Is Database Disaster Oracle Recovery? ... 43 How to Survive Data Recovery Disaster ... 45 Disaster Recovery Definition in Layman’s Terms 47 Qualifications for Disaster Mail Print Recovery Partners to Success ... 49 The Key Aspects in Creating Disaster

Recovery/Business Continuity Plan ... 51 Disaster Recovery Plan and Business Continuity Plan – What Makes the Difference? ... 53 Disaster Recovery Plan – The Key to Surviving Disasters ... 55 Disaster Recovery Planning – No More Room for Mistakes ... 57

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DRS – Making a Mark on Disaster Recovery

Services ... 59 When Disaster Strikes – Disaster Recovery Defined ... 61 How Do You Define Disaster Data Recovery? ... 63 Understanding Your Disaster Emergency

Procedure Recovery Plan ... 65 What Are the Disaster IBM Recovery Services? .... 67 How to Go About a Disaster IT Plan Recovery Effort ... 69 What Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning Can Do To Companies ... 71 Disaster Recovery through Disk Based Backups ... 73 Hiring the Services of a Disaster Recovery

Company ... 75 Things You Must Consider About a Disaster

Recovery Planning Guide ... 77 The Value of Disaster Recovery Planning

Shareware ... 79 Disaster Recovery Planning Software ... 81 What Measures Disaster Recovery Planning

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Disaster Recovery Plan Shareware: Know Its

Importance ... 85 Steps in Planning a Disaster Recovery Public Entity Business Interruption... 87 Disaster Recovery Server SQL Is an Efficient

Recovery Partner ... 89 The Features of Disaster Recovery Software ... 91 Why Should I Opt for a Disaster Recovery

Solution? ... 93 The Effects of Having a Good Disaster Recovery System ... 95 How many companies go out of business due to poor Disaster Recovery planning? ... 97 Assurance through Disaster Recovery Testing ... 99 How Do You Pursue Disaster Relief and Recovery After a Disaster? ... 101 The Key Concepts in Fault Tolerance vs. Disaster Recovery Efforts ... 103 Hospital Disaster Recovery Plan – Safeguarding People’s Lives Saved on Databases ... 105 The Quick Fix: HP One Button Disaster Recovery ... 107

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IT Disaster Recovery – Preventive Measures on How to Deal with Threats ... 109 A Well Run Company Always Has An IT Disaster Recovery Plan ... 111 What is the Value of a Network Disaster Recovery? ... 113 The Perks of Oracle Database Disaster Recovery 116 Oracle Disaster Recovery Redundancy ... 118 Should We Start Outsourcing Disaster Recovery Plans? ... 120 Should My Organization Opt for Outsourcing IT Disaster Recovery Efforts? ... 122 What Are the Components of a Sample Disaster Recovery Plan? ... 124 The Role of the Server Administrator in the Server Disaster Recovery Process ... 126 7 Points In Favor of the TAMP Disaster Recovery System ... 128 The Importance of Any Testing Disaster Recovery Plan Efforts ... 130 A Positive Note On The Cost of Outsourcing IT Disaster Recovery... 132

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Three Points For An Effective Applications

Disaster Recovery Plan ... 134 Things You Need To Know About Your Backup Disaster Recovery Plan ... 136 Business Continuity And Disaster Recovery

Planning For Organizations ... 138 Making Business Continuity Disaster Planning Recovery A Priority ... 140 Choosing The Right Business Continuity Disaster Plan Recovery Template ... 142 Business Continuity Plan vs. Disaster Recovery Explained ... 144 Implementing A Business Disaster Recovery Plan ... 146 Creating A Community Bank Disaster Recovery Software ... 148 How Do I Find a Reputable Contractor Disaster Recovery Specialist? ... 150 What Is The Database Disaster Oracle Recovery? ... 152 The Importance Of Having A Data Center Disaster Recovery Plan ... 154

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ServerVault Will Secure Your Data Center Disaster Recovery Plan ... 156 How Do You Define Disaster Data Recovery? .... 158 Five Factors An Example Disaster Recovery Plan Must Have ... 160 What Are the Disaster IBM Recovery Services? .. 162 IT Disasters Happen, Thus Disaster Recovery Planning Is Needed ... 164 Implementing A Network Disaster Recovery ... 166 The Difference Between Disaster Recovery And Business Continuity Plan ... 168 Implementing A Disaster Recovery And Business Continuity Plan ... 170 Disaster Recovery In Florida: Debris Removal Through Contractor ... 172 The Importance Of Insurance Policy On Disaster Recovery ... 174 Disaster Recovery Jobs: A Quick View On

Responsibilities Of Disaster Recovery Managers 176 Factors In Building A Disaster Recovery Plan—The DRP ... 178 The Importance Of Disaster Recovery Plans ... 180

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Factors In Choosing A Sample Plan for Disaster Recovery ... 182 Finding The Right Disaster Recovery Plan

Template ... 184 Disaster Recovery Plan Templates And Its Key Elements ... 186 Steps in Planning a Disaster Recovery Public Entity Business Interruption... 188 Getting A Disaster Recovery Server And Software ... 190 Hiring A Good Data Recovery Service Company ... 192 The People Within A Disaster Recovery Team ... 194 Highly Recommended: Disaster Recovery

Training ... 196 How Do You Pursue Disaster Relief and Recovery After a Disaster? ... 198 Recovering From An MS Exchange Disaster ... 200 The Key Concepts in Fault Tolerance vs. Disaster Recovery Efforts ... 202 What is the Value of a Network Disaster Recovery? ... 204

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Portfolio for Disaster Recovery—Your Key

Towards the Right Choice ... 207 Planning For Disaster Recovery ... 209 What Are the Components of a Sample Disaster Recovery Plan? ... 211 The Importance of Any Testing Disaster Recovery Plan Efforts ... 213

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Innovation of an AS/400 Disaster

Recovery System

Synergistics has now provided businesses with a credible option for disaster recovery—the AS/400 disaster recovery system.

The AS/400 disaster recovery system has been designed to creatively as well as innovatively provide disaster recovery solutions for middle-income market. Its service agreement provides flexible terms of payments which can surely suit the budget of mid-range sized businesses.

The AS/400 disaster recovery system makes use of the LPAR technology developed by IBM. In addition, the engineers behind Synergistic designed custom-fit solutions to easily adjust depending on the specific needs of the client. The system also boasts of four key points which make it a standout when it comes to disaster recovery. AS/400 provides recovery for hot sites, replication of data for proprietary solutions, as well as instant replication of data to be used as leverage for software.

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In addition to all its detailed processes and cost-effective systems, the AS/400 disaster recovery system also provides its clients with their own team of technical engineers. These engineers are always ready and accessible when it comes to troubleshooting concerns. There are also online updates and full access granted to its clients so they can always be kept updated with new innovations regarding the AS/400 disaster recovery system.

And to top it all off, AS/400 also boasts of a unique disaster recovery feature which allows clients to actually choose which type of disaster would they want to declare. This way, specialization of the recovery process is made possible and easily available through the AS/400 disaster recovery system.

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Bank Disaster Recovery Planning

Goes beyond the Usual

Banks are among the earliest industries to adapt the features brought about by the birth of information technology. Banks were among the frontline runners who jumped right into whatever information technology promises to offer

And as catastrophes are inevitable and unpredictable, bank disaster recovery planning are highly focused on by the said industry. After all, it is money and hard-earned cash which are at stake in these institutions, from individuals alone up to big shot corporations.

It seems that even the government has seen how sensitive banks can be and how vulnerable they can become amidst the face of emergency. Hence, the federal government mandated in 1983 that banks disaster recovery planning must be implemented and maintained in each and every financial industry.

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When it comes to bank disaster recovery planning, the proactive approach is of high value. Planning is definitely on the critical side. The primary objective of bank disaster recovery planning is not to salvage anything from the emergency situation but rather, to actually prevent any unwanted emergencies from hampering operations. This also brought about by the fact that when calamities occur, banks become a hot spot for people who are hit with panic and with an immediate need to check on their resources.

In addition, a bank disaster recovery planning puts all people first out of danger. The customers and employees are both very important to save. Without customers, there will be no more business for these banks and without their valued employees, operations will likewise become paralyzed.

And of course, recovery of data center is not only limited within the confines of the particular branch or department. The whole bank’s corporation takes part in the recovery process.

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The Disaster Recovery Journal -

Providing Solutions to Ensure

Business Continuity

Do you have any questions on how you can implement business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) solutions to your organization? The answers are just within your reach because there are a lot of sites that offer suggestions and provide updates as far as BC/DR matters are concerned. Aside from consulting an expert when it comes to BC/DR processes, these web sites are jam-packed with tons of information that you can apply to your own business.

One of these web sites is the disaster recovery journal. This site offers comprehensive discussions about the latest trends about BC/DR processes and how to successfully put these solutions into practice. The Disaster Recovery Journal is actually a magazine that it has about 60,000 subscribers to date with more than a 100 pages in size.

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The Disaster Recovery Journal is the first publication that is solely focused on disaster recovery and business continuity. Founded in 1987, its first issue contains 22 pages and was only distributed to about 3,000 readers. The man behind the journal is Richard L. Arnold, who is still acts as the president of the Disaster Recovery Journal. He also happens to be a co-founder of a non-profit organization named Disaster Recovery Institute in 1989. This institution offers certification and awareness of the importance of disaster recovery in the business industry today.

To gain more knowledge and learn the different best practices in the field of disaster recovery and business continuity, the Disaster Recovery Journal also sponsors two conferences held annually since September 1989. With over 3,000 disaster recovery professionals who participated, this only goes to show how critical disaster recovery is to the business.

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Establishing Backup Disaster

Recovery Sites for Business

Continuity

Why do you think that printers, photocopying machines, scanners, diskettes, CDs and DVDs were developed in this day and age? All of these have only one thing in common – backup. Producing a backup copy is vital, either soft or hard, that you still can access or read the information you need if in case the original copy is stolen, lost or got damaged. This concept is the same when dealing large volumes of information that are kept on database servers.

There is no such perfect system in this world that even high-powered machines are still susceptible to change and may lead to malfunction over time. Plus, also take note of unexpected disasters that may happen. Examples would be fire, floods and earthquakes to name a few. Human errors may also occur, though this may seem most unlikely to happen since proper training can always be given to the users of the system. Another human-imposed activity would be hacking and other nuisance that can cause too much trouble. When worse comes to worst that when such unfortunate events arise and everything is lost and may seem to be unrecoverable, there is only one thing that you can cling on. This would be your database backup server.

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But then again, a good thing to point though is that the database backup server should be kept on another site or location. This could be outside building premises or perimeters or it could also be inside the business facility but is kept on a more secure room or building. This is to ensure the safety of valuable information that would lead to business continuity as well.

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Business Continuity and Disaster

Recovery – Roles Intertwined

Business continuity relies on disaster recovery. In difficult and inevitable times when business continuity is at stake due to hindrances and threats by internal and external forces, a well-planned disaster recovery process is the answer. Such incidents happen commonly on computer systems as the demand to supply IT solutions to most business operations has been apparent over the past several years.

Though there is a high level of reliability compared to using the good old manual way of doing things, still there is a need to have business continuity plan or disaster recovery plan. Such systems have their own boundaries or limitations as well, no matter how advanced or complex they are. There will come a time when certain risks will be presented. Therefore constant maintenance and cautious analysis are needed to support such systems.

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Here are certain precautionary measures that will help ease the pain of losing vital information for larger and more critical computer systems. First is to develop a well-written business continuity plan (BCP) or disaster recovery plan (DRP). These processes are essential in making sure that it will be “business as usual” amidst of encountering a disruptive event.

Second is to properly delegate a team of individuals with specific duties and responsibilities, with an accompanying backup plan to support others in carrying out specific tasks. Highly trainable individuals with a vast understanding on how computer system works are definitely an advantage. And lastly, determine the software systems and hardware devices that are susceptible to replacements when disaster strikes. A backup location for database use should also be identified to ensure business continuity.

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The Benefits of Having a Business

Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Plan

It is important for businesses today to think ahead and plan for the unexpected. Especially these days where security threats and natural disasters are likely to happen, businesses should prepare and plan for a definite emergency measure.

Building a business continuity and disaster recovery plan are two of the most essential preparations of a company in cases of disaster. These two aspects of emergency planning works hand in hand to help the company mitigate the effects of the disaster. However, these strategic planning cannot 100 % guarantee that there will be no loss in assets and investments. Of course, when disaster hits particularly natural calamities, there will be damages and costs incurred. That is why business continuity and disaster recovery plan are developed to lessen the impact of disasters and prevent further damage.

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In IT, maintaining its networking functions and system application are very important. Business continuity creates a way to sustain its normal operations in event of disasters. By creating an accurate plan to mitigate impact, business continuity develops guidelines and procedures to follow when applications fail or network systems are down. There are back up software and solutions to easily restore the normal functions of people and equipments.

Disaster recovery plans on the other hand also helps recover all the lost data and information. This also includes data, investments and other lost physical assets that may disrupt the operations of the business. These two aspects play an important role in keeping the company from further destruction and damage.

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Disaster Recovery Plan for Floods –

Protecting Computer Databases

When Calamity Strikes

Disaster strikes when you least expect it. Suddenly, you will just feel the earth shaking, the fire alarm ringing and heavy rains hitting the ground. When such emergency situations happen, you just cannot help but panic and feel worried of what is going to happen. Safety of the individuals should be a major priority, and so is the essential information stored on computer databases. Yes, equipment and devices can be replaced, but not critical records and files that once gone will also mean waving good-bye to your own business.

One of the major threats to the facilities and infrastructures established to perform business operations is flooding. A well-organized disaster recovery plan is therefore needed as your first line of defense against this threat. Though there may be times that equipment malfunction due to flooding can still be used and functional when dried, still the hassle of getting through this whole process is indeed a waste of time and resources.

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Flooding, like any other natural calamity is not something that we can stop from happening. Nature takes its own course and the best thing to do is just accept this fact and invest time on how to carefully plan on what to do whenever such disruptive events happen. Though a very important precautionary measure that should be looked on to is data backup. Backing up files, such as storing them on another location, will definitely ensure business continuity amidst of all these hindrances. It is a good thing to note though that when flooding happens, there is one thing that everyone should be reminded of: plant trees. The result would be a cleaner air to breathe. Well, not a bad idea after all.

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The Five Main Phases of a BCP

Manual for Computer Disaster

Recovery

Performing computer disaster recovery may seem to have been involved with a lot of different processes to guarantee business continuity. Actually, there are only five things to think about in creating a business continuity plan (BCP) manual that will definitely aid in making it easy for many to do disaster recovery, especially those involved in complex computer systems. The BCP manual can function as your guide in ensuring business longevity. The five main phases involved in BCP manual development are:

(a) Analysis,

(b) Solution design, (c) Implementation,

(d) Testing and organization acceptance and (e) Maintenance.

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On the analysis phases involves three sub-processes. First is impact analysis, where critical and non-critical functions within the organization are differentiated. Critical functions are more susceptible to threats so the need to distinguish functions is needed to meet certain requirements. Threat analysis, on the other hand, involves the identification of threats and their impact to the business. Lastly, impact scenarios should then be defined for proper documentation.

After impact analysis, there comes solution design to recognize the most cost effective disaster recovery solution from the given scenarios. The third phase, which is implementation, takes place to execute the identified solution design elements. Testing will then be made to obtain organizational acceptance. The design element should meet certain requirements as specified by the organization. Changes have to be made after testing should the need arises. The last phase of the BCP manual is maintenance. It involves the following activities: (a) Confirm the information written in the manual and roll out to all staff and personnel to increase the level of awareness;

(b) Test and verify solutions; and

(c) Test and verify the documented recovery procedures.

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How to Pursue Outsourcing of

Computer Disaster Plan Recovery

One way you know when to outsource and when not to is to ask yourself how much of your IT computers are covered by outsourcing at this point. If your organization prefers to focus on maintaining in-house IT personnel and IT maintenance services, then outsourcing would be very difficult to pursue. For one thing, your own organizational culture may make people suspicious about letting outsiders know how your organizational IT systems operate – because in this age when competition is fierce, trade secrets become even more valuable commodities. Allowing outsiders to glimpse your IT system structure may mean permitting people to see any potential weak points. As in any business arrangement, trust and integrity are the watchwords by which you should judge any potential outsourcing partner.

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Some client companies may opt for the least expensive of the Computer Disaster Plan Recovery specialists they find automatically, because they intend to protect their profits. However, such a move may backfire because lower initial cost may not translate into better service for you. Since IT systems are very expensive to invest in, it only makes sense to get the best service you can to protect your investment (which is what Computer Disaster Plan Recovery is all about in the first place.) So you need to examine why your profits should be prioritized over quality service. Sometimes it is still possible to get quality Computer Disaster Plan Recovery service at reasonable prices.

Another thing to take into account is the location of your preferred Computer Disaster Plan Recovery specialist. If your datacenter is located in a remote place like the Philippines, and your Computer Disaster Plan Recovery specialists are located in the US, for instance, you might find your data imperiled when your US-based Computer Disaster Plan Recovery specialists cannot make it in time to examine the disaster site.

Even the fastest passenger plane will take some time before it can cross the distance over land and sea – and in Computer Disaster Plan Recovery, time is always a crucial factor for saving data.

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Should We Be Concerned About

Computer Disaster Recovery?

Computer Disaster Recovery may seem like a relatively new area of concern among PC users but it is by no means a new phenomenon. Actually, many PC users have unfortunately suffered a degree of data loss every year in the past. When you compute for it, in 1998 alone, US companies lost as much as $11.8 billion due to data loss. If many IT professionals had already been experienced in Computer Disaster Recovery at that time, most likely the losses would not have been as severe.

Computer Disaster Recovery can either be practiced (or outsourced) to an independent consultancy firm or assigned to your in-house IT staff. Either way, someone has to be on-site 24/7 so that Computer Disaster Recovery can be addressed as soon as a disaster strikes. The problem is that many IT professionals may be acquainted only with simple drive recovery efforts and think that that already constitutes Computer Disaster Recovery. Simple drive recovery alone is already very expensive (it will cost a business $7,500 to implement) and is not automatically a sure-fire solution to resort to.

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Computer Disaster Recovery should become a more prevalent area of concern for US companies, because statistics show that US businesses suffer more than $12 billion in losses annually due to data loss at present. As much as 78% of data loss is attributed to system or hardware failure. On the other hand, 11% of data loss is believed to be caused by human error. Software corruption alone causes just 7% of total data loss nowadays.

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The Value of Preparing a Computer

Disaster Recovery Plan Beforehand

One of the worst things you may ever face is being caught in a disaster without any weapon to fight with. However, it is a fact of life that disaster may happen when we least expect it. The best weapon against these disasters is preparedness. This is true even when it comes to computers. Computer professionals have made great strides - from being simply prepared to creating a system which allows for disaster recovery even when the unexpected occurs.

Your disaster recovery plan should focus on data protection. This data protection is the process, procedures and policies for regaining access to data, records, hardware and software that are essential to business operations and have been subjected to a natural or man-made disaster. No business is immune from experiencing such a serious incident, called a disaster, which may hamper normal business operations. A disaster could be caused by floods, accidents, computer malfunctions, explosions, earthquakes, and many more other factors.

This is why development of a Basic Disaster Recovery Plan is a fundamental responsibility of every organization.

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In the planning stage, there are some essentials points to consider. First and foremost, the plan must be approved by top management to ensure the highest level of commitment and ensure support in terms of resources and attention from management. Secondly, the plan must be based on and designed for the needs of the system in case disaster should happen. The so-called DRPs help guard against data loss with the use of backups sent off-site in regular intervals (composed of software and data information) for data recovery; microfilm copies of files with the use of remote backup facility); Storage Area Networks (SANs); surge protectors (for power control); use of an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) or backup generator; anti-virus software; and other security measures. Even fire prevention and protection may become necessary components of your Basic Disaster Recovery Plan.

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How Do I Find a Reputable Contractor

Disaster Recovery Specialist?

Business and organizations that have undergone both or either man-made or natural adverse circumstances such as terrorism attacks, windstorms, bomb explosions and earthquakes should hire a reliable disaster recovery contractor. However, make sure to consult first any involved agency about the possibility of getting state aid so that an assessment of the damaged property can be done before any repairs are done on it.

How can you find a reputable contractor? First, you have to screen the contractor, whether he is licensed or not. You can ask any of your neighbors who may have previously hired a disaster recovery contractor to repair damages like yours. You should ask for at least three references to see if the contractor has been able to commit to good job performance and charged a fair price from previous clients.

You can call your local Better Business Bureau to check out their list of contractors acknowledged by the bureau to be reputable.

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Secondly, you should jot down any necessary licenses and certifications (such as insurance certification, working license, or building permits) which may be needed if you have to report problems that cropped up later. However, you should not sign any insurance settlements with any contractor.

Thirdly, ensure that your signature on a bid does not constitute as an authorization to start the work with the contractor. Next, you must secure written contracts which will cover the scope of work, materials, costs and payment schedules. In making payments to contractors, it is suggested to pay them periodically (meaning, pay a fractional percent so they will start work and also as work progresses.)

In addition, purchase materials along with your contractor or pay the supplier directly. You should ensure that the repairs made follow the local building standards. You may hire a structural engineer to double-check the major repairs made before you make a final payment. Lastly, you should demand a release paper of lien from a contractor to protect yourself from any legal claims later on.

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How is Critical Disaster Information

Recovery Conducted?

Okay, so disaster struck your data storage facility and now you need Critical Disaster Information Recovery to be conducted so that no further damage will be done to your data storage medium and your business continuity is not jeopardized. How does Critical Disaster Information Recovery proceed then?

The Critical Disaster Information Recovery specialists will first ask you to hand over the affected medium to them for inspection.

They will also create a copy of the medium and its contents to prevent wreaking further damage to that storage medium. Before you do this, it is important to have a legal agreement in place to protect the integrity of your data (especially if it is sensitive data, like personal information about clients and their financial transactions.)

Only upon inspection will the Critical Disaster Information Recovery team be able to find out if the data can indeed be retrieved, how much of the data can be retrieved safely, how long the process will take, and how much to charge you for their services.

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Be prepared to pay a hefty cost for any Critical Disaster Information Recovery. In fact, it can be said that a disaster has a double whammy to it: you first get hit by a disaster which is costly in itself, and then you have to pay to recover your data which is equally or even more expensive to pursue. But compared to the cost of lost business due to loss of trust by present and future clients, corporations may prefer to invest in good Critical Disaster Information Recovery service anyway.

Critical Disaster Information Recovery will have better odds of being successful if the process is initiated in a timely manner. It also helps if your organization had a very detailed and systematic Critical Disaster Information Recovery plan in place before any threats hit the organization later on.

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Disaster Recovery Measures in the

Data Center

The data center holds all valuable information that the company needs to ensure business continuity. However, there are times wherein threats may come along the way, which may cause losing every bit of information that is considered critical to business operations. Such threats vary from natural to human-inflicted errors. There are also some who intentionally steal such data and use them for their own good. Hackers can easily penetrate the data center if information security is not taken seriously. Having these possibilities in mind, most companies have resorted to data center disaster recovery aside from the usual countermeasures that are implemented to lessen, if not totally avoid the presence of threats. There are actually two steps to consider in starting the much needed data center disaster recovery plan for your organization.

When dealing with data center disaster recovery, the first step to think about is the acceptable loss that the company can endure. Say for example, if you are working in a financial institution, is an hour good enough to restore lost data without really impacting the whole operation of the business?

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Though there may be protection that you can rely on from database backups, determining this will definitely guide you on what to do when a threat present itself unexpectedly.

The second step would be checking if loss of access rights to the database is still be feasible for users in carrying out their day to day duties. By knowing this, you will be able to devise a strategy that has minimal impact to the business and to its users, but still restoring valuable data lost due to threats can still be performed. This may seem challenging but getting the right information is the key to successful disaster recovery plans.

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Data Disaster Recovery – Restoring

Information from Damaged Media

Very critical data used in business operations are often saved in storage media such as DVDs, CDs, hard disk drives, flash disks and other electronic devices. However, due to unexpected file errors and physical damages, contents stored on these devices may become corrupted or inaccessible at times. The process of recovering lost data from these storage media is called data disaster recovery.

Physical damages that usually happen on DVDs and CDs do not only cause loss of data but damage on the logical structure of the file system as well. Such damages may mean unrecovered data and thus, cannot be repaired anymore by an ordinary end user.

Though technical experts can still salvage files stored on these devices through the use of Class 100 cleanroom facilities, this may be a bit costly. Another common recovery procedure is done by removing the damaged portion of the printed circuit board (PCB) and replace with another PCB from a healthy drive.

This procedure is indeed highly technical in nature and thus, should only be done by experts to further protect the integrity of data stored on these damaged devices.

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Aside from physical damage, another common cause of data loss on storage devices is logical damage. Power outage is one of the reasons why logical damage happens, thus preventing the file system structure to overwrite or save files on the storage medium. System crashes, and problems with hardware and drivers may also cause logical damage. Because of this, most operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac have their own versions of repair tool used to recover data. Taking advantage of these tools can definitely make data disaster recovery a bit easier than expected.

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What Is Database Disaster Oracle

Recovery?

Created by Larry Ellison, Ed Oates and Bob Miner, the Software Development Laboratories in 1977 developed the original Oracle DBMS (or Database Management System.) The name Oracle is derived from the code of a project that they worked on at Ampex. Software Development Laboratories was then renamed to Relational Software Inc. (or RSI) in 1979 – which was later named Oracle Corporation in the year 1984.

The two major components of an Oracle DBMS are Database and Instance. The Database contains all the control files; redo logs (that contain your data and Oracle metadata), and physical data files. The control files contain Oracle metadata which are very important and contain all the information that is needed to access the database. The redo log holds records for any changes that have been done.

An Instance, however, is a combination of the background processes and the pool of physical memory called RAM allocated to Oracle. The RAM is also called System Global Area (or SGA.) The RAM is employed to cache data (since the RAM is a thousand times faster than I/O.)

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There are different types of backups, namely: whole Database Backup, Consistent Whole Database Backup, Inconsistent Whole Database, Inconsistent Closed Backups, Tablespace Backups, Datafile Backups, and Control File Backups. Each backup differs the others, and knowing which backup method should be used is essential.

RMAN (or recovery manager) is a component that establishes a connection with a particular server process. The RMAN automates the flow of data for recovery operations and backup. The OS (or Operating System) is another process but one where the database is backed up manually by a specific command execution to certain user specifications.

The Oracle export Utility, however, makes backup logical by writing data from the Oracle database to OS files. The Oracle Enterprise Manager, on the other hand, runs with a GUI interface that brings Recovery Manager to work.

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How to Survive Data Recovery

Disaster

Sometimes, even with a team of Data Recovery Disaster specialists on your side helping out, it may not be possible to foresee when Data Recovery Disaster will strike. Sometimes, it may seem like fate is playing a cruel joke on you and Data Recovery Disaster occurs despite your best efforts. Can you survive a Data Recovery Disaster event?

If you are a business organization hit by a Data Recovery Disaster event, one thing you do not need is unwarranted publicity. This is because you need clients to think that they can trust you with their data and their business. This is why many corporations hire PR firms to ward off nosy reporters who only see the value of a potential story and do not see why corporations would want to shield themselves from publicity. Until you have found out what caused the a Data Recovery Disaster event to occur, it would be wise to keep the media at bay – once you know why the event happened and how you can prevent it and other threats from occurring, then you can safely talk to the press (but definitely not beforehand.)

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This means you have to exert all efforts to find out the true causes of the event. For instance, if your data storage facility was hit by a fire, you should always get an investigating team that specializes in fire damage to assess what the cause was. You might be unpleasantly surprised that arson could have been a factor – possibly motivated by business competition. Or, if it seems like someone downloaded a virus into the IT system accidentally, you may want to investigate the background and work records of that employee – there are cases when disgruntled employees sabotage their employer and the organizational IT systems deliberately. It is not paranoia if they are really after you.

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Disaster Recovery Definition in

Layman’s Terms

It is commonly understood by the IT industry that the definition of disaster recovery is the procedure of restoring the normal processes of the company in times of disasters due to natural and man-made causes and system breakdown.

It is essential for businesses to be prepared when disaster hits their organization. Storm, power outages, tornadoes, terrorism attacks and system break-ins are likely to happen anytime.

Without the proper precaution of companies and government agencies, numerous lives will be at stake. To ensure an effective recovery and rescue operations, it is important to organize a specific plan. There are also other definitions of disaster recovery such as regaining access to lost network or business connectivity and recovering critical company data during or after a disaster caused by natural or man-made sources.

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This definition will also include the creation of a disaster recovery plan which includes plans and procedures for restoring normal business operations without or with only minimal disruptions in company resources. This plan is well maintained and constantly updated to make sure that it is still workable and applicable to the company.

Data can also be lost during disasters and calamities. Network systems during these times may be initially affected due to disconnection of communication lines. Essential documents, assets and information are needed to be protected in order to quickly restore the normal operations of businesses.

A thorough plan should be created by companies and especially government agencies responsible for massive disasters. A well-organized team and committee should initiate the development of plans and strategies in disaster recovery.

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Qualifications for Disaster Mail Print

Recovery Partners to Success

Have you ever wondered working in a payment service firm? If you are tasked to print billing statements every day, fold each piece of document into three, enclose them inside white envelopes, sort them by zip code and go to the nearest post office to finally send them to the intended recipients – how will that make you feel? Tiresome? Redundant?

Or worst, worthless? Yes, just imagine how one can feel satisfied of such work when you go over this tedious workload every single day of your life. To provide solutions to this inconvenience, brilliant inventors have improved how print-to-mail operation has to be done.

Print-to-mail operation was innovated with the coming of advanced and high-speed printers wherein a lot of new functions were incorporated such as continuous-form inserting and printing ability, roll paper feeders, duplex and two-wide printing, and rewinders. Such innovations have truly helped industries to make work more cost effective, and less time consuming for employees.

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Aside from this, print-to-mail operation can also act as a contingency plan, after the determination of critical documents that should be backed up for future purposes. This is the reason why there is a need to evaluate the service partner that will provide critical print and mail disaster recovery solutions. Qualifications include:

(a) A well-established print-to-mail recovery facilities;

(b) Well-maintained and modern equipment; (c) Software products that will meet your company’s needs;

(d) Diverse consumer base;

(e) Enthusiastic approach to demonstrate work recovery;

(f) Credibility in the industry of print-to-mail operations; and

(g) Readiness in responding when urgent situations arise.

Choosing the best service partner will truly be a win-win solution for both employees and the company.

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The Key Aspects in Creating Disaster

Recovery/Business Continuity Plan

Disaster recovery plan (DRP) and business continuity plan (BCP) are partners in helping organizations prepare, anticipate and control certain disruptions that may come along during the course of carrying out business operations. But then again, involving oneself to disaster recovery or business continuity planning is one such tedious job. There are a lot of things to consider including such critical key aspects of the business such as:

(a) Building and other facilities that include water and power sources;

(b) Communications and some examples include email, telephone, fax and mobile;

(c) IT infrastructures involving data and application servers, internet access and networks; and

(d) Personnel or key people that are experts in doing the best course of action in times of crisis.

Now that the essential aspects of the business that may be impacted are already identified, it is now time to determine the different threats or risk factors that may be encountered to increase awareness and understanding on how such unfortunate situations happen. As expected, these are classified into three categories: human, natural and technological.

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Human threats may come in various forms, which include theft, terrorism, account fraud and vandalism among other things. These are usually external factors. Human threats may also come internally such as unexpected errors that may be experienced during business operations. Running wrong commands, inadequate staffing and insufficient training are some of the common errors experienced. Natural threats are disasters that may be unexpected such as earthquakes, thunderstorms, fires and floods. Technological threats are the most common. Such issues include server latencies, power failures, tool problems, service attacks and virus infections.

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Disaster Recovery Plan and Business

Continuity Plan – What Makes the

Difference?

Is there a difference between a disaster recovery plan (DRP) and a business continuity plan (BCP)? DRP is a carefully established step-by-step process that ensures business stability after the occurrence of a disruptive event. Such threats may come out as natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons or other natural calamities or as a tiny bit of computer nuisance known as virus.

The BCP has almost the same definition, but focuses on a more comprehensive approach this time. This is where organizational restoration and recovery take place. Thus, the acronym BC/DR shows the connection between the two.

Though at times, there are certain instances wherein a BC/DP process is in place within an organization but failure to restore all vital business operations still happen. What went wrong? Here are some of the potential reasons why such pitfalls occur.

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First is inadequate planning. It could be that all critical systems were not identified or that some systems were not included on the disaster recovery plan or business continuity plan. It is a good thing to note that every single piece of hardware device or software application is prone to change, which may lead to system disruptions if not carefully managed. Proper delegation of individuals to man business operations is also a top priority.

Second would be insufficient testing. Though it could be that you have a well-written DRP or BCP, but not testing its effectiveness is like arming yourself with weapons in a battlefield without being trained on how to use each one of them. Testing will definitely improve the current plan and make room for some adjustments whenever necessary.

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Disaster Recovery Plan – The Key to

Surviving Disasters

Successful plans make successful goals. When you are on an individual or group mission, a plan should be well-established as you will use it as your primary tool that will lead you to your objectives. This is also true when dealing with threats and other outside forces that may hinder business growth and development. With the advent of Information Technology, the need to secure or protect every single bit of information is critical. At these times when computer systems and devices become more complex, and the emergence of disasters and other threats become inevitable, a well-anticipated disaster recovery plan (DRP) is the key.

Often referred to as business continuity plan (BCP), DRP is a comprehensive set of processes and procedures that are carefully set up within the organization. This is to ensure that very important aspects of the business can still function, in such a way that data records can still be accessed and certain devices and infrastructures can still be used in times when emergency situations happen. Disasters are sometimes inevitable but a good DRP should address three areas and these are:

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(a) Prevention or pre-disaster;

(b) Continuity or during a disaster; and (c) Recovery or post disaster.

Prevention is the pre-planning stage wherein determination of the area within the organization that will be impacted by an anticipated disaster will take place. Continuity is the stage wherein essential systems and resources are preserved and maintained during a disaster. The recovery stage, on the other hand, is the stage wherein the restoration of impacted systems to normal operational status occurs. However, this has to be done at the soonest possible time to maintain and ensure the needs and demands of the business.

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Disaster Recovery Planning – No

More Room for Mistakes

When a goal is carefully planned, there is an almost 100% assurance that it will be achieved. The margin of error depends on how careful the planning of steps is to meet certain objectives. There may be threats or risks involved in some decisions, but then again all these are a part of the game.

At some point, adjustments have to be made and should be anticipated as part of the planning stage. With such dedication, determination and hard work, nothing is impossible.

In this day and age of computing and Information Technology, disaster recovery planning should always be in place to ensure business continuity. It is essential that these step by step processes, which are carefully thought of, should be applied in times when crisis and emergency situations happen.

There are also certain situations wherein the disaster recovery plan (DRP) should be updated on a regular basis to ensure high quality standards, especially when there are extra systems or devices added on the network. Due to the changes made to the system, testing should also be done when the need arises.

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It has been said that almost 25% of company earnings are spent on disaster recovery planning.

This is because losing any vital information also means losing money for the business, or worst, this may lead to company bankruptcy. Everything will be put into waste if a carefully planned disaster recovery process does not engage when such unfortunate situations happen. Just imagine computer records that contain every bit of information concerning your business vanished out of nowhere all of a sudden. Indeed, disaster recovery planning must be present at all times. Plan now, before it’s too late.

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DRS – Making a Mark on Disaster

Recovery Services

Do you need help in any disaster recovery related process? Worry no more. The Disaster Recovery Services or DRS will be there to assist you in any business continuity concerns that you may have. DRS is a nationwide leader in providing disaster recovery solutions wherein it also supports other distinctive corporate computing environments such as image item proof of deposit or POD (used for restoration of image item POD and electronic image system delivery), image delivery (used for restoration of database driven server/client networks) and mail & remittance (used for restoration of mail and remittance applications).

Established in 1991 by a small group of IT professionals, the Disaster Recovery Services (DRS) is still finding ways on how to enhance disaster recovery and business continuity plans after the occurrence of catastrophic events or emergency situations. Since risk factors and threats may also depend on geographic location, the best solution is to include facilities and system redundancy, with support from professional services. Due to the limited number of users within a specific location, risks as brought about by multiple disasters with effects on certain facilities will then be mitigated. Recovery testing should also be done on a regular basis to ensure readiness.

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DRS has been providing solutions since 1992, extending state of the art support and business driven efforts to various industry groups. With its commitment to providing world-class service, DRS employs its three pillars of support and these include the following: (a) Partnership with customers; (b) Employees who love what they do; and (c) Excellence in execution. These are just few of the many reasons why DRS is still in operation as of today: marking its way up to lead the pack among providers of alternate site systems and facilities.

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When Disaster Strikes – Disaster

Recovery Defined

There is a saying that nothing is perfect in this world. This statement is true as it applies to everything that your eyes can see: physical beauty fades; flowers bloom but wither at some point in time; and leaves have to drop from trees so that new ones will grow again. This is a reality that happens with the surroundings, though there has been some techniques and procedures developed to retain, if not prolong, the beauty of nature. This also applies to people’s day to day living, especially now that almost everything is high-tech and computer-operated.

With the growing reliance on Information Technology, the need to protect company information is crucial to the business. The possibility of any occurrence of human-induced errors or natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons and thunderstorms, has paved the way for the development and production of policies and procedures to retain important data and regain access to records and devices that are critical to business operations.

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But then again, the process of recovering valuable data and information is not that easy. There should be a disaster recovery plan in place that should be thoroughly tested to have it ready when such emergency situations occur. In addition, a designated committee, headed by a chairperson that is focused on this area alone should be formed as it is one of the important key aspects of the business.

Indeed, what the brilliant scientist mentioned is a fact… that for every action, there is an equal or opposite reaction. Disasters are just few of the many consequences of change in the environment and a well-established recovery plan can pacify any threat that may come along the way.

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How Do You Define Disaster Data

Recovery?

Recovering data (or Data Recovery) is the task of recovering data from the HDD (or Hard Disk Drive) or any other type of digital media that has been jeopardized in a critical way due to a disaster, such as a flood, explosion, or fire. There are many techniques that can be used to recover data when it has been seemingly destroyed or damaged – techniques that are similar to recovering data from tapes and hard drives that are in less brutalized condition.

Data value varies in the form it is stored in. Some are not valuable enough to worry about, but some are very important. Numerous entities such as companies who experience a disaster then have to contend with more or double the risk of data failure. Even if they are able to back-up their data on a regular basis, they still would be facing an event considered non-risk-free – unless they try to backup their data in other locations. It is hard to rebuild customer financial records, files and inventory records. In fact, there are some companies who have actually gone out of business due to the consequences of disasters.

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It is possible to recover data from fire-damaged drives even though plastic components may be melted, or blackened by fire. There are two main components of a hard drive: first would be the electronic board; and second, you have the head assembly. The head assembly contains the rotating platter that carries the data with read/write function. Located in the head assembly is a small pin-sized hole whose purpose is to help in compensating for atmospheric changes. Even if the cause of damage is fire, water damage may also be caused by fire fighters whose main purpose is to eliminate the first risk which is fire. Water can enter through this pin hole. The time that the water remains inside is critical if we intend to save the valuable data affected. If the water dries before we can act, there is less chance of being able to recover data due to dirt and foreign materials left inside.

Another risk is when melting occurs due to excessive heat – once the disk experiences melting of its internal parts; there is no hope of ever recovering the data.

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Understanding Your Disaster

Emergency Procedure Recovery Plan

When creating a Disaster Emergency Procedure Recovery Plan, it is important to know first why you are creating it. This is so you do not wind up preparing procedures which are not apt for the situation that may hit you. It also helps you weed out overlapping or contradictory procedures.

For instance, in a data center, there are two ways your data storage systems can be destroyed: by fire and by water. Ironically though, if fire does hit your data center, the most common way of putting out the fire is through the internal water sprinkler system of the facility. So the water sprinklers do put out your fire, but will also wreak havoc on your IT systems anyway. It is very easy for water to penetrate into the internal parts of your computers, especially the CPUs of your desktops.

To address this problem may require the labors of Hercules, because many times fire breaks out because of the computers themselves – perhaps because the CPU overheated from prolonged use or because of some flaw in the power supply system. Though some experts say water sprinklers should be distanced from sensitive IT systems, how do you put out the fire then if the cause of the fire is the PC?

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One procedure you could set in place is that round-the-clock surveillance should be installed in your data storage facility. This allows your personnel to isolate any fires that do break out so that the rest of your IT systems stay safe. Maintaining people to secure your data storage facility round-the-clock may be expensive but it is better in the long run than investing in a water sprinkler system that will go off automatically if a fire is detected because your IT systems will not be damaged whole cloth.

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What Are the Disaster IBM Recovery

Services?

IBM (or International Business Machines Corporation) is one of the most well-known companies in Information Technology that has been growing since the 19th century. IBM has continuously pursued its business manufacturing computers, software and hardware all this time and now also offers hosting services, infrastructure services, and consultations in mainframe computers and nanotechnology.

One of the most recent remarkable accomplishments of IBM is that it had grown to become one of the largest computer companies in the world since it has the most number of employees in its field with more than 355,000 people around the world. Though it fell to second place to HP (or Hewlett Packard) in 2007, IBM is still one of the most profitable companies in the world.

Since it has engineers and consultants in over 170 countries and 8 laboratories worldwide, IBM also holds more patents than any US companies whose business is based in computer technology. Having earned three Nobel prizes, five National Medals of Technology, four Turing Awards, and five National Medals of Science, IBM is now recognized as one of the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders.

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IBM nowadays offers disaster recovery services that include Application Continuity Services, Call Center Recovery, Continuity Options for storage area networks, Data Center Recovery, Disaster Recoverability Assessment, ERRM 30-day test drive, iSeries System Restore Test, IT recovery options for Sun Microsystems, Network Recovery, Physical Workplace Recovery, Protection Express, Recovery options for IBM technology, Recovery options for multivendor technology, Recovery Plan Development, Recovery Process and Procedure Design, Recovery Strategy Definition, System i-backup, Recovery Analysis and virtual workplace continuity.

These services are offered to lessen the losses absorbed by other companies due to disastrous events, so client companies can offset losses, to keep them in business. IBM services focus on securing data and keep businesses running. Disaster planning requires harnessing of great amounts and kinds of resources – the vast IBM network provides that.

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How to Go About a Disaster IT Plan

Recovery Effort

You thought it would never happen to you and your organization, but it did: disaster has struck and now the integrity of the hard disk in your computer (as well as that of many other people in the same organization) has been struck hard. So what do you do now?

Embarking on a Disaster IT Plan Recovery effort actually starts long before the actual disaster strikes – b because the value of any Disaster IT Plan Recovery effort lies in adequate preparation and foresight. That is why certain IT professionals take time out to train in Disaster Recovery – not just to add to their long list of credentials, but to be able to help their organizations prepare and prepare well for any potential disaster. It may be expensive but at least the IT systems in your organization stand to have a fighting chance at life this way.

If you have been hit by an IT disaster and are now scrambling for a Disaster Recovery expert who can shoot the magic bullet and retrieve your data for you, there is still a chance that such a Disaster Recovery specialist can be found if you act quickly enough. It all depends on the cause of the disaster.

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Any Disaster Recovery guide, though, will tell you that your Discovery Recovery efforts should always start with detailed and careful planning. If nobody in your organization knows anything about Disaster Recovery and how to create a thorough and pertinent plan to protect then retrieve affected data, then invest in training real quick. It’s for your own protection.

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What Disaster Recovery and

Business Continuity Planning Can Do

To Companies

The safety of organizations and businesses are constantly at stake. Every day they encounter threats and risks from security systems to natural calamity.

And without proper guidelines and support, companies can easily reach its downfall. Disasters cannot be eliminated. In fact, the only thing that organizations can do is to prevent it and plan for recovery.

Most businesses today do not realize the importance of creating a plan because some companies do not recognize the serious damage this can cause their business.

The company’s assets are not the only ones who is at stake here. The lives of clients and employees are also in danger if comprehensive emergency measures are not planned properly.

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning are very important part of creating a strategic emergency plan. While some are confused on the roles these two are playing, these play a big part in successfully implementing organized plans for the company.

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Disaster recovery and business continuity planning basically manages and restores the important data and information. This includes appropriate tactical measures in cases of hurricanes, earthquake, sabotage and network failure. Guidelines, precautions, system backup and recovery are just some of the basic requirements of an effective planning.

Aside from that it is necessary for companies to train their employees and provide them with the proper instructions when disasters happen. Regular auditing and testing are necessary to ensure the success of recovery plans and continue the normal functions of the company.

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Disaster Recovery through Disk

Based Backups

Companies will never know when the next disaster will strike. With all the security threats, terrorism attacks, hurricanes and illegal acts, no one can fully guarantee a secured environment these days.

In IT, data protection is probably the most important aspect to prepare for in times of calamities. This is a critical requirement for most companies especially those with large enterprises. In a large enterprise, it is important to have a comprehensive backup scheme to prevent losing essential data. Getting a traditional tape based backup may not work. Other options may include storing data on remote offices. The only disadvantage of this is that inexperienced staff or personnel take charge to ensure protection of the important data. Restoring access on these data may also take awhile and there are downtime periods that small and medium enterprises cannot actually afford.

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To solve this backup problem, companies can now take advantage of disk based backups that can restore the normal operations quickly. This is more reliable than any of the traditional backup solutions that cannot guarantee fast retrieval of data. This will reduce time and cost for companies who want to save more money. This solution will prevent the company from loosing important backup time and will allow them to retrieve the data in cases of disaster. This solution can also backup data on remote offices in the company. Automated protection is the best solution to protect information of companies. It will not only help the organization during disaster recovery but it will also ease the hard work of employees in restoring lost information and data.

References

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