Disaster Recovery: A Basic Guide For Beginners

IBM disaster recovery

What is a disaster recovery plan?

It is a documented, structured approach that explains how to resume work after unplanned occurrences. A DRP is a vital part of a business continuity plan. The aim of a DRP is to help an organization resolve data loss and recover system functionality. It can then perform in the aftermath of an incident although operating at a minimal level. IBM disaster recovery planning involves an analysis of business processes and continuity needs. Performing a business impact analysis and a risk analysis before generating a disaster recovery plan is a must. These establish recovery objectives.

What are the types of disasters organizations can plan for?

  • Application failure;
  • Building disaster;
  • Campus disaster;
  • Citywide disaster;
  • Communication failure;
  • Datacenter disaster;
  • Multinational disaster;
  • National disaster; and
  • Regional disaster.

What are recovery plan considerations?

The business level is where the disaster recovery strategy starts. It determines applications that are the most crucial for running the organization. The measurement for the recovery time objective or RTO is in hours, minutes, or seconds. The RTO outlines the target amount of time a business application can be down. It expresses the age of files that calls for recovery from backup storage for resuming normal operations.

Organizations derive recovery plans from recovery strategies. These strategies define the plans of an organization for responding to an incident. Disaster recovery plans put into words how the organization should respond.

IBM disaster recovery

Organizations need to consider several issues when determining a recovery strategy. These include the following:

  • Budget;
  • Compliance requirements;
  • Data;
  • Insurance coverage;
  • Management’s position on risks;
  • Resources, such as people and physical facilities;
  • Suppliers; and

Recovery strategies should have approval from the management. All strategies should line up with the organization’s intentions.

Types of DRPs

Cloud disaster recovery plan

Cloud disaster recovery can include a complete replication or even a single file backup in the cloud. It can be space, time, and cost-efficient. The plan addresses a common issue in the cloud, security.

Virtualized disaster recovery plan

A virtualized environment provides opportunities for implementing disaster recovery. Virtualization can spin up new virtual machine instances. Within minutes, it provides application recovery through high availability.

Network disaster recovery plan

The more complex the network is, the more complicated it is to develop a plan for recovering a network. It is crucial to keep the step-by-step recovery procedure detailed, test it, and update it. 

Datacenter disaster recovery plan

It focuses on the data center facility and infrastructure. A key element in data center DRPs is an operational risk assessment. It analyzes key components and addresses a broad range of possible scenarios.

Disaster recovery plans have various ranges in scope. It can be a basic one or a comprehensive one. The disaster recovery plan is not only about writing the document. DRPs also need testing and updating.

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