Despite well-known dangers, many of the world's enterprises still are not applying the right protection policies for their data. Eventually, they will pay a great price if they don't.
a perfect world, recovering a company's data and getting it back into
production after a major disaster would be fast and automatic. Got some news
for you: Even "good enough" is rare in this world, never mind "perfect."
of all, industry analysts from Gartner and IDC say that 30 to 40 percent of all
IT shops either have no disaster recovery system in place or do not know how to
use it correctly. Second, even if a shop does have a DR apparatus in place and
tests it occasionally, there are plenty of examples of such systems not
performing according to plan.
the world of data recovery, the data is the easy part, the recovery can be
hellish, and IT administrators are the ones commissioned with connecting the
dots. Enterprises laid up for extensive periods of time due to IT knockouts do
not have a glittering record of surviving, so there's more than a modicum of
pressure involved here. The National Archives and Records Administration
reported in 2010 that 93 percent of enterprises whose data centers were down
for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of
term "data recovery disaster" defines a situation in which an
extended power outage forces an enterprise to recover its data and files from
an alternate location-whether that is within the enterprise's physical system
or in a cloud backup and recovery service. A short-term power outage or failure
of an individual server, or even a rack of servers, isn't generally considered
a data recovery disaster.
Katrina in August 2005, the March 2011 earthquake off the coast of Japan, and the recent flooding in
the Midwest are well-known examples of
multidimensional disasters that affected scores of IT systems. The most common
cause of IT failure? By far, it's human error, whether involving a power supply
or IT production itself.
are some important general DR guidelines for an enterprise-any size enterprise?
They're simple, at least in concept:
Find a system that fits your business and implement it. Don't laugh;
many companies don't have one.
Select a system that includes snapshots, mirroring and/or replication
to a separate location, whether that location is within the confines of the
physical enterprise or a cloud-service package.
Test the system on a regular basis, even if it involves just a portion
of the system at a time.
systems vary greatly. Along with major advancements in the last five to six
years in system storage capacity and overall data protection, there have been
great advancements in recovery methodology.
should be noted that backup storage alone is not a DR plan. Most
companies do back up their data, but that doesn't cover getting applications,
networking, cloud services and everything else back up and running with the
your company's DR plan consists of backing up files every so often and then
yelling "Help!" to your IT department or a service provider when an outage
occurs, then you need a real DR plan.
Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz