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The Importance of Disaster Recovery Planning for Enterprises

Posted by QuoteColo on January 14, 2013

Most organizations today, both corporate and government don’t have firm disaster recovery plans in place for their information technology infrastructure and work force.   Disaster recovery planning is a critical component in ensuring an organization successfully emerges from a business emergency or disaster.  A corporate disaster can be many things which include; flood, fire, power outages, network connectivity loss and corporate sabotage.

Some Facts About Business Failure

Here are a couple interesting facts that various industry experts have put together with regards to the importance of  understanding what happens when a corporate disaster occurs.

Fact 1: More than 60% of the organizations that loose their data due to a disaster go out of business in less than 6 months.

Fact 2: Organizations that loose their data center processing abilities for more than ten days have almost a 95% chance of going bankrupt (Natl. Archives – Washington).

Fact 3: According to the Strategic Research Institute, organizations that are not able to resume operations within ten days of a corporate disaster have  less than a twenty percent chance of survival.

Fact 4: The average computer user, looses their data thirty percent of the time.

Fact 5: Over thirty percent of computer users have lost their data due to events out of their control.

Fact 6:  Almost 40% of enterprises who backup to tapes systems do not check their backups and of those almost 80% have found when they need to restore from tape there is a failure.

Fact 7:  Computer hardware or software system failure accounts for almost 80% of all information loss.

Fact 8:  Errors related to human interaction result in approximately 10% of data loss.

Fact 9:  According to PWC, a single incident of data loss costs an average business $10,000.

The facts are overwhelming and show the real importance of an organization to have a disaster recovery plan in place to ensure business continuity in the event of such occurrences.   Based on these facts, lets take a look at what an organization should consider as part of outsourced facilities for their disaster recovery plans.

Data Center & Colocation Services

There are a number of data center providers which offer colocation services for clients.   These facilities can house client infrastructure for both primary and disaster recovery situations.   Typically these environments are large computer rooms which house computer cabinets, heavy infrastructure for redundant power and cooling and fiber network connectivity.    Organizations can house backup systems in a data center to provide real time failover in the event of failure of their critical systems.   Typically these colocation service providers should be located a safe distance away from the primary data processing site.   Ranges vary, but a good rule of thumb is to stay 30 – 50Km away from the two sites.

Disaster Recovery Pod Space

Assuming the colocation services are in place, now an enterprise needs a home to house their workers to ensure business continuity.   In essence, an offsite office which provides a seamless business environment in which the staff can function just as if they were at their primary office location.    Typically these DR POD environments are rooms with desks, phones, computers and all other necessities to ensure business continues to operate as normal.   Most DR POD environments are interconnect back to their DR (disaster recovery) colocation environment with fiber optics and house failover voice pbx systems.

The Cost

The cost to implement a disaster recovery strategy can vary greatly, depending on the scale and size of the operation in question.   Prices vary from $1000 / month to several thousands per month, all depending on the flexibility, scale and resiliency of the solution required.

Final Thoughts

Enterprises large and small should take a very close look at their disaster recovery plans and should work towards formulating an actual structure to mitigate risks if and when they occur.   Planning is key as is choosing the right data center / colocation services provider as well as a home for their staff in the event of failure.   There are plenty of resources on the internet which can assist organizations in planning these steps.    A well planned out strategy can mean the world of difference between business success and business failure.

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This guest article was written by Tony Di Benedetto, managing partner at QuoteColo.com and Data Centers Canada.

 

 

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