Re: Disaster Recovery Plan

Subject: Re: Disaster Recovery Plan
From: Beth Agnew <bagnew -at- INSYSTEMS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 11:26:11 -0400

All those ideas about coping with fire, flood, tornado, and so on in a
disaster recovery plan are good, and should be included in any
contingency planning. However, for many companies I've worked with, when
they talk about Disaster Recovery Plans, they are more interested in the
all-too-likely occurrences of catastrophic data loss. A good, solid
network crash can put a company in severe jeopardy. (Just having the
power out for a week, as occurred in Quebec during the ice storm, can
kill a business.)

If a key developer has a hard drive crash that wipes out 2 weeks' worth
of code, it could make you miss a critical launch date and cause all
kinds of havoc. (Yes, things should be backed up better than that, but
people generally don't bother. Think of what the impact would be on you
if you lost the entire contents of your hard drive.) Just having a
network down so that remote offices cannot communicate can be
disastrous. It's not only the loss of data, but the loss of time while
personnel regroup, rebuild, reinstall, and restore. Having a paper copy
of a 300 page manual is fine, but if the electronic copy has been wiped
out, recovery will require someone keying in all that text, recapturing
graphics, reformatting, and so on. Possibly days' worth of work.

It goes even further when you're depending on information to generate
revenue. A store having no credit card checking or Interac capability,
for example.

Your disaster recovery plan should also cover prevention. Are data
backups reliable? Do you have off-site, secure storage for proprietary
material such as code, prototypes, and so on?

Lots of things to think about. Have fun!

Beth Agnew
Senior Technical Writer, InSystems Technologies Inc.
65 Allstate Parkway, Suite 100 Tel: (905) 513-1400 ext. 280
Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 9X1 Fax: (905) 513-1419
mailto:bagnew -at- insystems -dot- com Visit us at:

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