Re: Disaster Recovery Plan

Subject: Re: Disaster Recovery Plan
From: Dan Brinegar <vr2link -at- VR2LINK -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 23:50:58 -0700

At 03:39 PM 4/7/98 -0400, Mary Kunzweiler wrote:
>I need to document a corporate-wide disaster recovery plan.
>Does anybody know the types of info covered in such a plan? I know I need to
>cover topics like "Tornado wipes out manufacturing plants, here's our plan",
>"Bubonic plague keeps 3/4 work force at home, here's our plan" and "UPS
>goes on
>strike, here's our plan."

... and Beth and Elna pointed out that the focus can't just be about the
disaster, but the *recovery*.

I just dug up my "Miracle Issue" of _Information Week_ for May 15, 1995: I
picked it up on a long lunch hour while contemplating tackling the Disaster
Recovery Plan for the Large Semiconductor Manufacturer I was working at
back then -- I raced back to work with all sortsa fresh ideas -- the
engineer and I were both thinking of military-style DRPs (actually
emergency response procedures: "In Case 'A' can we fly a class of telecomm
operators from Ft. Gordon to replace the ops who have succumbed to nerve
gas? Or did Augsburg get nuked and we need to plug a replacement
comm-center into the net?") the main focus was replacing the physical
assets and personnel of a site that just-got-nuked... the last 30 days'
message traffic is stored in a bunker on punched cards and mag-tape. The
realization that *our* data were stored in the same building and vulnerable
to earthquake, fire, or strike (but not likely to get nuked anymore, thank
heaven!) was a little disconcerting.

_Information Week_ on isn't archived that far back, so I'll
summarize and add a note.

1) Identify critical operational information

2) Develop and enact a plan for recovery of critical information

3) Institute a testing and evaluation program (y'know: that lifecycle
methodology we talked about recently might come in handy there)

4) Designate and *deploy* an alternate site for your operations

NOTE: with the ready availability and ease-of-use of new backup media such
as recordable/rewriteable CDs (CD-RW) these days, it's even easier to have
a complete backup of everything -- Beth Agnew said "Think of what the
impact would be on you if you lost the entire contents of your hard drive,"
I just had that happen: lost everything I've written over the last ten
years; and spent several days trying to recover stuff off ten-year-old
floppies (not recommended). Now I've got my System setup, bookmarks,
website and archives backed up on CD-RW *and* CD-R -- remind me to make a
set to keep at dad's house ;-).

At the close of the "Nanosecond Nineties," not only do You wanna be able to
resurrect your operation as soon as possible; you *have* to. It took me a
week to recover 1.5 gigabytes out of the 3.7 gigabytes I lost -- and I had
a project to rev in the middle of it-- I've seen people lose their customer
database by hitting [ENTER] before they should have (and no backups), and
I've seen techs setup a dozen laptops just-out-of-the-box with *one* master
build CD [COOL!] I can only imagine what it would be like if I was working
with a *large* customer after an ice storm cut a branch office out of the

[But, I'm certainly glad that nowadays "getting nuked" means a virus or
spam-flood versus what it *used* to mean ;-) ]

S'wynyway, a quick search at

for "disaster recovery" yielded 90 articles on everything from
small-office/home-office (SOHO) tips and tricks to master-plans for
monolithic IS departments and distributed worldwide data-anarchies.

Performance S u p p o r t Svcs.
Phoenix, Arizona

"Hast Du etwas zeit fuer mich? Schriebe ich eine Buch fuer Dich;
vom ganz verkerrtes VaporWaern,
auf ihrem weg zum falsches rechnung."

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