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Remote Backup and Email Archiving Articles

How Will Remote Backup Affect Your Bottom Line?

You’ve heard about all the benefits that come with remote data backups — backups to remote facilities through a managed service. But despite these benefits, putting a solution in place still requires parting with a sizeable portion of your IT budget...

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The Email Archiving Rules Cheat Sheet

Your corporate email system contains a great deal of sensitive information that used to be stored on paper — which means that a host of regulations now exist to deal specifically with how you handle and store your email communications...

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Premium Article

Remote Backup and Email Archiving

How to Create a Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster recovery is the procedures and policies you put in place to prepare for the recovery of your business’s critical technology infrastructure after a natural or human-induced disaster. With a little thought, time and effort, you can put together an effective disaster recovery plan and ensure your business stays up and running no matter what. Here’s how:

Step 1 — Risk Analysis

The first step in disaster recovery planning is conducting a thorough risk analysis of your computer systems. Anything that can cause a system outage — whether it—s viruses, malicious attacks and accidental data deletions or floods and fires — is a threat. You’ll need to figure out which of these threats are most likely to occur, which ones will have the biggest impact to your business, and how to prioritize them accordingly.

Step 2 — Establish Your Budget

Once you’ve completed step 1, the next question to ask yourself is &quo;How do we suppress those threats, and how much will it cost?&quo; Budgets vary from company to company, but data disaster recovery typically takes up between 2 to 8 percent of the overall IT budget. It all depends, of course, on your size and specific needs — larger companies may devote as much as 15 percent of their budget to disaster recovery planning.

Step 3 — Get Your Plan Approved

You’ve figured out how to protect your business and how much it will cost you — but will management see things the same way? Your next step is to convince senior management to approve your disaster recovery plans and secure organizational and financial commitment to the project before you can bring it into effect.

Step 4 — Developing & Implementing Your Plan

Feedback from upper management and other business units will help you shape your strategy. If the higher-ups decide that in order to stay viable the company needs to be up again within the next 48 hours, that can help you calculate the amount of time you need to execute your data recovery plan.

The recovery procedure should be presented in a written document. You’ll need to establish a recovery team among your IT personnel and assign specific duties to each member. Make sure each department understands its role in supporting and maintaining the plan, so that should a disaster occur, they’ll be prepared. Create a checklist so that you don’t miss a single step in making sure everything gets back to normal.

Step 5 — Test

You now have got a disaster recovery plan in place — but that doesn’t mean you can rest easy. Make sure to test your plan frequently. Walk through the procedures with your recovery team periodically to ensure that everyone knows their roles, and test the systems you’ll need in the event of a real disaster to make sure all the pieces fit. Keep a record of your test results each time, and don’t forget to address shortcomings as they occur, so that your disaster recovery plan stays completely sound.

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