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Disaster Recovery Planning ( DRP ) :

 

Actualy means "recovering after a disaster,  of course" 

 

For the rest of us it means the recovery of technical environments, such as I.T. systems, networks and communications equipment, following an unplanned interruption. 

 

It is the technical  technical aspect of business continuity planning. This is meant to include the plans and preparations which are necessary to minimize loss and ensure continuity of the critical business functions of an organization in the event of disaster. 


The disruption from a disaster can threaten your organization's operations, profitability, and quality of service and image. A comprehensive and up-to-date Disaster Recovery Plan ( DRP ) prepares your organization for the worst case senario.

Disaster recovery is a concern of the entire organization, not just data processing, to develop an effective plan, all departments should be involved. Within all departments the critical needs should be identified and proritised, critical needs include all information and equipment needed in order to continue operations should a department be destroyed or become inaccessible.



Determing critical needs

To determine the critical needs of the organization, each department should document all the functions performed within that department. An analysis over a period of two weeks to one month dependant upon size and will  indicate the functions performed inside and outside those departments.

Prioritizing on the processing and operations

Once the critical needs have been documented, management can set priorities within departments for the overall recovery of the organization. Activities of each department could be given priorities in the following manner

*  Essential activities - a disruption in service exceeding one day would jeopardize seriously the operation of the organization.

*  Recommended activities - a disruption of service exceeding one week would jeopardize seriously the operation of  the organization.

* Nonessential activities -this information would be convenient to have but would not detract seriously from the operating capabilities if it were   missing.


Disaster recovery planning involves more than off-site storage or backup processing. Organizations should also develop written, comprehensive disaster recovery plans that address all the critical operations and functions of the business. The plan should include documented and tested procedures, which, if followed, will ensure the ongoing availability of critical resources and continuity of operations.

 

The Disaster Recovery Process

The first step in the disaster recovery process is to perform a business impact analysis that considers all of the the potential impacts from the disaster senarios put forward.  

 

Disaster Recovery Plans should consider how to deal with these possible events:

 
  • Terrorist Acts 
  • Power outages / spikes
  • Computer failures due to viruses etc
  • Software or Hardware Failures
  • Natural Disasters from flooding etc

Conclusion

The DRP  must be integrated with the whole enterprise and must be tested through drills and exercises that validates your plans.



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