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Constructing a Successful Business Continuity Plan

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Although disaster recovery and business continuity are sometimes used interchangeably—and they are indeed related—they serve very different purposes.

Disaster recovery is a subset of business continuity. Whereas disaster recovery is generally focused on a company’s IT operations, business continuity involves the entire business or at least those functions that are critical to its ongoing operations.

A business continuity plan includes policies, procedures and contingencies that can be used to continue conducting business in the event of a disaster or other disruption. It takes more than a company’s data and IT systems into account, reaching other areas that are typically outside an IT department purview, like office space, suppliers, employees and industrial equipment.

Considering the integral role of IT in today’s modern enterprises, disaster recovery can be considered a vital component of a business continuity plan.

Types of Disaster Recovery Plans

Your disaster recovery plan will be heavily influenced by the IT systems and services that your business relies on. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, here are some factors to consider.

  • Virtualization Disaster RecoveryOne of the benefits of virtualization is that it can eliminate the need to recreate a physical server when something goes wrong. Placing a virtual server on reserve capacity or the cloud are very real possibilities, making achieving your organizations recovery time objectives (RTOs) trivially easy in some circumstances.Take stock of the virtualization platforms (VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Oracle VM, Citrix XenServer, etc.) used in your environment, along with the backup and recovery tools used by each, and draw up a plan to get virtual workloads up and running again.
  • Network Disaster RecoveryServers aren’t the only part of an organization’s IT infrastructure that may be affected by a disaster. Networks can also meet an untimely demise, which in turn can lead to failures in business applications and services that depend on reliable network connectivity.A network disaster recovery plan often includes procedures on contacting the proper IT personnel, acquiring replacement networking equipment from vendors and other actions required to restore connectivity.