Creating a DR and Business Continuity Policy

By Thomas Nieto  |  Posted 2009-11-16 Print this article Print

Step No. 2: Creating a DR and business continuity policy

After mission-critical data has been identified, the next step is to create a policy that will focus on the continuous backup of that data and ongoing scheduled operating system images that will prevent disaster. Most SMBs cannot afford a disaster of any kind, so it is vital that they plan accordingly. Your DR and business continuity policy needs to be effective in the following three key areas:

1. Pinpointed restoration of mission-critical data: The mission-critical data needs to be restored quickly, with the most recent changes available. Using a LAN or WAN-based hard drive appliance with a built-in RAID array that offers continuous data protection will create easy restoration points for Exchange, SQL, Active Directory and user file shares.

2. DR for system and service failures: Disk images should be scheduled on a daily or weekly basis that take snapshot views of the critical systems to either a local network-attached storage (NAS) or USB device, which is then taken or replicated to an off-site location.

a. Service restoration

Utilize virtual and redundant systems in the event of a service failure to prevent data loss such as transaction processing on a point of sale (POS) system or inbound e-mail. 

b. Hardware failure

To recover from a hardware failure, maintain available parts or relationships with vendors that can supply hardware quickly. 

c. System destruction

Use an off-site storage system to prevent localized environmental events from affecting the data backup copies. 

3. Proactive remote monitoring system to verify integrity of system: A DR plan is only as good as its last successful restoration. The next step is to monitor and test the system to ensure quick, proactive responses. Monitoring is done continuously to ensure that there are no problems, while testing is performed at regular intervals to ensure the integrity of the system.

Thomas Nieto is Director of Strategic Consulting Services at AnalySYS. Thomas presently oversees strategic planning for clients and directs a team of consultants engaged in projects, project management and consulting services. Thomas is responsible for managing the company's data center and server farm, while providing strategic vision and technical expertise for the company's internal IT infrastructure. Prior to this role, Thomas was IT Director for a regional behavioral health specialist with eleven offices throughout the eastern United States. He can be reached at

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