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Stages of IT Disaster Recovery Planning Are You Resilient IT


									ExEcutivE BriEf

IT Disaster Recovery                                                                      IT Innovation. Business Value.

4 Stages of IT Disaster
Recovery Planning —
Are You Resilient?
As the enterprise IT landscape becomes more complex, customers more
demanding, and computing devices more abundant and powerful, the need for
business resiliency is of critical importance. Resilience is the ability for a company
to adapt and recover from any unplanned changes to the IT environment by
managing risk and implementing contingency and continuity planning.

Companies develop disaster recovery plans to ensure that they have a                      Secure-24 is a
documented, detailed, tested blueprint for directing the IT recovery process in the
event of a man-made or natural disaster. In general, a “disaster” is defined as any       leading provider of
event that causes sufficient interruption of computer operations that the decision is
made to move those operations to an off-site recovery location.                           managed IT
Disaster recovery plans are designed to restore the company’s applications, data,         operations, hosting
and physical network within established critical timeframes that minimize the
impact on the business, with respect to lost revenue and operational interference.        and cloud services,
Furthermore, disaster recovery planning is also critical to ensure compliance
with mandatory business regulations—regulations that have penalties for non-              providing highly
compliance ranging from monetary fines to loss of business.

                                                                                          IT environments and

                                                                                          expert management

                                                                                          and support for your


                                                           29355 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, MI 48034
                                                           Phone: 800-332-0076
IT Innovation. Business Value.

                                          4 Stages of Planning
                                          Developing an effective disaster recovery plan involves more than “backing up
                                          to tape” — there are seven distinct, critical steps that must be performed:

  ACCeSS                                                        TeST

  • Develop and architect your recovery strategies              • Test and validate to confirm that activities outlined

  • Define the recovery team organization, identify key            in a DR plan will be successful and that RTO/RPO

    individuals, and provide training                              objective can be satisfied.

  • Develop and document the procedures that will be            • It is important to establish a testing frequency and

    executed in the event of a disaster                            monitoring to verify that your DR plan remains

  DeSIgN                                                        MAINTeNANCe

  • Develop and architect your recovery strategies              • Because business process and IT system change

  • Define the recovery team organization, identify key            over time, disaster recovery plans should undergo

    individuals, and provide training                              scheduled reviews to identify potential sources
                                                                   of change such as to key staff attrition, new
  • Develop and document the procedures that will be
                                                                   compliance requirements or changes to critical
    executed in the event of a disaster
                                                                   RTO/RTP levels.

                                          For the Disaster Recovery Plan to be viable and effective, it is critical
                                          that a methodology be followed — from identifying applications used
                                          throughout the enterprise, to reviewing and testing the plan on a regular basis.
                                          As infrastructure updates and new software applications are implemented in
                                          the enterprise, the plan must be revised to reflect these innovations.

                                          There also needs to be consensus from the management team on both
                                          the critical business definitions and the role that management will play in
                                          executing the plan.

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                                 Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
                                 Performing a careful and complete Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is critical
                                 to developing an effective Disaster Recovery Plan. During this phase, system
                                 requirements, functions, and interdependencies are analyzed — the results
                                 are then used to identify system contingencies as well as setting priorities.
                                 The Business Impact Analysis drives the Disaster Recovery Plan by identifying
                                 the applications and systems that will significantly impact the business in the
                                 event of a disaster.

                                 During this phase, it is vital that input be obtained from departments across
                                 the enterprise, from Human Resources and Customer Service, to Information
                                 Technology and Accounting. In addition to using this information gathering
                                 to define critical timeframe, the BIA is also an effective strategy to educate
                                 the enterprise on the need for a Disaster Recovery Plan and to identify any
                                 alternative manual procedures that could potentially minimize the impact of an
                                 interruption in system availability.

                                 Defining RPO and RTO
                                 Critical to BIA is determining the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and the
                                 Recovery Time Objective (RTO). The RPO is the point in time to which data
                                 must be recovered; the RTO is the overall length of time an IT component can
                                 be in recovery before it negatively impacts critical business processes.

                                 The analysis is important because different applications and IT components
                                 will have different RPOs and RTOs. For example, an application that supports
                                 a mission-critical application, such as customer order processing, may have
                                 a short RPO/RTO, while an application that runs an internal, non-customer-
                                 facing of low import may have a much longer RPO/RTO.

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                                 Architecting Your Recovery Strategies
                                 Developing a solid Disaster Recovery strategy requires a comprehensive
                                 approach. Key items that need to be considered include network requirements,
                                 infrastructure needs, data recovery, data and record management, security
                                 and compliance.

                                 After the critical applications and data recovery objectives are identified, the
                                 company needs to architect the specific strategies and solutions to make
                                 sure the recovery objectives for applications, network and data are restored
                                 in the appropriate timeframes. Meeting these recovery objectives may involve
                                 deploying new architecture, tools, and infrastructure internally or with the
                                 assistance of an external service provider.
                                 Options to be considered include electronic vaulting, tape retention, or a dual
  • Tape                         data center approach.
  • Disk2disk

  • Asynchronous Replication     Testing and Training
  • Snapshot                     Performing thorough analysis and developing sound recovery strategies are
                                 critical to a solid Disaster Recovery Plan; however, testing the plan and training
  • CDP
                                 staff on executing the plan is vital to successful DR planning. The only way to
  • Local Mirroring              validate that your plan will work is to test the plan on a regular basis and put a
  • Synchronous Replication      function in place to ensure it is updated to reflect changes in the environment.

  • Multi-Data Center            There are various levels of testing, with varying degrees of involvement—from
    Mirroring                    a structured walkthrough with key technical resources verbally assessing the
                                 plan, to simulation testing where a disaster is simulated so the plan can be
                                 implemented, to full interruption testing, in which the disaster recovery plan is
                                 activated in total. The organization needs to establish the testing required to
                                 effectively assess the validity of the plan.

                                 In tandem with testing the plan is the need to train assigned personnel both on
                                 their roles in the disaster recovery scenario and on the broader content of the
                                 plan itself. Like testing, the organization needs to regularly revisit the training
                                 plan to address the organizational changes, new hires, and attrition that are

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                                 Secure-24 DR Solutions
                                 Secure-24 runs customer operations from data centers connected via a high-
                                 availability SONeT ring. This multi-data center approach enhances the ability
                                 to recover quickly because one facility acts as backup recovery for the other.
                                 Not only is there complete redundancy for the components within the data
                                 center, but the data centers themselves are redundant.

                                 Secure-24’s disaster recovery services for hosting and private cloud customers
                                 include an in-depth analysis of our customers’ current IT infrastructure, as well
                                 as the critical data and applications, including:

                                 • Detailed assessment and definition of risks, timeframes, required
                                   performance, and functionality levels supported by well defined Service
                                   Level Agreements (SLAs)

                                 • Implementation, ongoing management, and solution support

                                 • Synchronous and asynchronous disaster recovery offerings

                                 • Disk-to-disk plus additional tape backup options

                                 • Dual-data center approach with unique geographic High-Availability (gHA)
                                   internet fiber connection between data centers

                                 • Highly experienced and knowledgeable teams to restore systems and
                                   minimize business impact

                                 • Command center facilities that allow key personnel to continue operations in
                                   the event of an emergency

                                                           SONET Connectivity

                                                     Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
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                                     About Secure-24
                                     As a leading provider of managed IT operations, enterprise Hosting and Cloud
                                     Computing Services, Secure-24 delivers full technical support of business
                                     critical applications with proven methodology and demonstrated successes in
                                     infrastructure, management, upgrades, migrations and support engagements.
                                     Secure-24 manages complex IT landscapes for mid-market and large
                                     companies that operate globally, providing robust, strategic and transformative
                                     technologies that help organizations to be innovative and competitive.
To learn more about how
outsourcing your applications and
infrastructure to Secure-24 can
help your organization achieve its
business goals, contact us at:

29355 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, MI 48304

Local: 248.784.1021
Toll-Free: 800.332.0076
Fax: 248.784.1024


                                     Secure-24 is committed to helping your organization succeed by bringing
                                     the best innovations and technology to your IT needs. That’s why we have
                                     developed strategic relationships with market-leading business and technology
                                     companies and emerging players. Working closely with our network of
                                     alliance partners strengthens our ability to deliver genuine business value to
                                     the enterprise and help clients make the most of their IT investments.

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