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Diaster Recovery & Planning
Every successful business msut have a sound business plan and one of the components of a business plan is how to recover and continue operations if a natural or man-made disaster affects your business.
In IT, disaster can take various forms: e.g. data corruption, theft of equipment or data, catastrophic failure of servers or hard drives, malicious tampering with the network equipment and locking out the users and/or admins.
As part of our initial setup, we perform an survey of your network and propose a disastr recovery handbook that spells out what to do if your network or servers are compromized.
This how-to documnet explains step-by-step instructions that could be as simple as restoring files from backup to moving your network operations to a backup location. It all depends on the nature of the disaster and what parts of the network have been compromised.
In addition to compiling the disaster recovery handbook, we also recommend and put in place the hardware. software and procedures necessary to conduct the recovery if and when it happens. For example, let's assume you servers were destroyed due to a fire. That means you won't be able to use that location, at least in the near term. We will have a backup location already identified and ready to accept and install new server(s) and the hardware and software necessary to restore files and databases (eMail, SQL) from the offsite repository. With the advent of machine virtualization (e.g. VMWare) the task of restoring a server can be done within minutes of powering up. We have "loaner" servers available 24x7 that we can use for this specific purpose. Then it is just a matter of restoring the data set from the most recent backup, which should already be available from your off-site location where you store your tapes/drives when you "pull" the tape/drive on a regular basis.
In conclusion if you don't have a dsiaster recovery plan already in place, by the time you do encounter a failure, then it is probably too late. So when business is running smoothly and you do have the time, it might be a good idea to think about, research and plan for such eventualities, so that your business doesn't come to a stop when things are not going as smoothly.