SAD-Disaster/Recovery Planning

Disaster/recovery planning is a means of addressing the concern for system availability by identifying potential exposure, prioritizing applications and designing safeguards and minimize loss if a disaster occurs. There are several alternatives. They range from having an entire facility in one location with a complete redundancy of hardware to leasing a site with no computer but adequate electricity and air conditioning to support a computer facility on temporary basis. After an alternative has been determined a decision must be made about the applications to be processed, The hardware to process the applications and what should be relocated after the disaster. In disaster/recovery the management’s role is to accept the plan select an alternative and recognize the benefits. The user’s responsibilities are as follows:

1. Identify critical applications why they are critical and how computer unavailability would affect the department.
2. Approving data protection procedures .
3. Funding the cost of backup.

The Plan

When a disaster/recovery procedure is planned, several questions have to be answered:
  1. The time taken to rebuild the computer center or aspects of it
  2. The type of accomodation should we look for in a backup installation. How quickly is it available?
  3. The equipment is needed to keep the corporation functioning
  4. How would reports be transmitted to the user? That is, is there going to be telecommunications network or simply a courier service?
  5. Thet utilities( electric power, air conditioning, etc) are required when a disaster occurs
  6. Would there be sufficient experienced staff available for proper recovery?
When these questions are answered and management gives its support for a disaster/recovery plan, the next step is to initiate a plan that involves four phases:
  1. Appoint a disaster/recorvery team and a team coordinator to develop the plan or procedure.
  2. prepare planning task.
  3. compile a disaster/recorvery manual.
  4. Dummy run to test the procedure.
The team

A disaster/recovery team should include a cross section of system designers, users, and computer operators. Under the leadership of a coordinator, the team’s main functions are to oranize the project, monitor progress on the plan, and oversee its completion. The team meets periodically to ensure that the plan is kept up to date, considers new vulnerabilities or exposures to loss, and implements new technology or procedures as needed. More specifically, the objectives of a disaster/recovery team include the following:
  1. Secure backup sites for occupation and use.
  2. Contract for hardware to meet minimum processing needs.
  3. Supply working copies of all operating systems and application programs to meet minimum processing requirements.
  4. Supply communication facilities to make reports promptly available to the user.
  5. Supply consumables and administrative support.
Planning Task

Disaster/recovery planning tasks are prepared in a cycle similar to that of system development. Briefly, the cycle entails the following:
  1. Definition phase sets the objectives of the disaster/recovery project.
  2. Requirements phase evaluates applications against disaster. Recovery Objectives, determines what is to be included in the plan, and specifies priorities. The team takes inventor of the hardware, software, telecommunications, backup and clerical procedures, utilities, and personnel assignments. Design phase evalutes design alternatives, potential vendors, and prices and chooses the final design.
  3. Testing and implementation phase runs backup systems, compares results, and correct errors. During implementation, procedures are written, sites are prepared, and maintenance plans are developed.
The Manual

Once the team has completed the assignment, a disaster/recovery manual is prepared and copies are made available to team members and management.
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