IT Systems Backup as Part of Disaster Recovery Plan

In modern day environment, being prepared to face any sort of risk or crises and ensuring that precautions are taken has become imperative. Any crises or disaster can hit the Organization in all or some of the functions or departments. However Disaster Recovery and Business continuity plans help identify various risks in each and every function and be prepared to manage the crises as and when they arrive.

More importantly the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity (DR & BC) plans help recover the business process or function and resume business in shortest time possible, thus helping the Organization to honor its business commitments despite such disasters.

Every Organization big or small uses IT and Communication systems to manage its operations. Most of the critical data including financial, sales, customer data and all transactions are stored in the systems.

IT System failure is one of the high risk areas that needs to be looked into by the DR & BC planners. IT systems include all kinds of hardware including laptops, desktops, servers and other equipments including LAN and other networks as well as communication equipments and connectivity.

IT Systems are very sensitive to the environment as well as to power fluctuation and hence tend to breakdown or get corrupted easily. They are also subject to hardware failure as well as external virus attacks etc.

The risk of IT disasters is very high and critical in IT companies which are highly dependent upon various systems and softwares. Besides IT and technology companies, service companies like banks and airlines as well as credit card companies etc are also highly dependent upon IT systems and as such their businesses cannot tolerate any downtime. In such situations the Organizations bank upon effective DR & BC Plans to fall back upon for immediate recovery in full or in part.

Data loss is one of the major risks under IT Systems risks that the Organizations are exposed to. Therefore DR & BC Plans have got to look at various ways and means of protecting the data loss. Some of the data recovery options are discussed hereunder.

  • Data Back up in Small Organizations: Organizations that are small scale enterprises are likely to have limited amount of data generated on daily basis and would be operating with a few computers. In such cases, one can easily take a back up of all the files on to an external hard disk, USB Drive or disc.

    One needs to ensure that the medium used as backup should be stable. Thus incase of any disaster, it would be possible to reload the operation system into the computer and reload the backed up data too. This method is by far most effective method of control of data loss.

  • Data Backup in Medium Scale Organization: Companies with medium scale operations are likely to have a smaller number of computers on a network with a centralized server. The data generated can be on different kinds of formats including emails, doc files, xls files, presentations as well as files generated by specific softwares etc.

    Normally one of the computers can be earmarked as data storage server and directories can be created for each and every function. The data can then be backed up onto the server on daily basis and saved in the specific directory with a filename containing the date. Alternatively the firms can also use external hard disks or high capacity tape drives etc as storage devices.

  • Data Backup in Large Scale Organizations: In case of larger organizations, the IT system set up will be highly sophisticated and the data backup requirement too is likely to be quite large. The Organizations are likely to have a network of dedicated servers for E Mails, Database, File servers etc. In the case of such large networks, the number of users is also quite huge. Therefore a separate data backup procedure would have to be adapted.

    Depending upon the number of users, the criticality and the amount of data to be backup on daily basis, the backup may be organized in a centralized manner for each location or department or in a decentralized manner. The backup systems can be supported with mirror servers or high end backup devices. Critical data can be backed up in the hot site or the DR Site depending upon the Organization and its needs.

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