One of the most important aspect of disaster recovery is the production of a disaster recovery site, which is a remote location where duplicates of your data can be stored in the event of a disaster or emergency. These days, such sites have become more important than ever before.
With the advent of terrible natural disasters, along with devastating acts, it has become far too risky for enterprises to store all their data on site. While even basic disaster recovery requires you to make backups of important data, this data is still at risk if it is situated in the same location where daily operations are carried out.
It is for this reason that the concept of a disaster recovery site was developed. These sites will typically be located in remote areas, and they will be subject to high security. The site will be situated in an area where either natural or man-made disasters are unlikely to occur, or where the data is heavily protected from such disasters.
Disaster recovery sites will not only have high levels of physical security, such as guards or cameras, but it will also make use of high-end electronic security, such as firewalls. While a disaster recovery site can be quiet expensive, it is well worth it.
There are two types of disaster recovery sites that an enterprise can opt for, and this is one that is custom built, and a site that is provided by another enterprise. There are a number of businesses which earn their revenues by building and maintaining disaster recovery sites for large enterprises. They will typically charge either a monthly or annual fee for their services, and they provide 24 hour security, as well as a number of additional services. If you choose to go with a company that provides a disaster recovery site, you need to spend a lot of time evaluating the reliability and integrity of this firm, since it would hold the life blood of your business.
Disaster Recovery Site Essentials
When you set out to establish a disaster recovery site, there are a number of things you should look for. Since this site can be thought of as your last line of defense in the event of an emergency, you cannot afford to take shortcuts when establishing it.
You should first make sure that you have emergency equipment on hand which can replace the normal equipment that your business uses. You should also consider a recovery site which offers alternate utilities and ATM availability. One thing which is a must for a disaster recovery site is documentation which is related to the software or hardware which must be replaced.
It should be obvious that the disaster recovery site would also need to house the backup tapes of data which is critical for the functioning of the organization. It will likely be necessary to store this information in a vault. So far, the facts discussed should be considered as the basics that the disaster recovery site will need.
However, it is also assumed that the authorized personnel will be on hand to assist in the restoration of communication and data which is necessary for the function of the organization. There are also many other forms of preparation that will need to be considered.
The maintenance providers of hardware will need to be informed of the condition of equipment which may be effected. Software providers will also need to be notified of the need for fresh software keys, where appropriate, by declaring serial numbers for the equipment that will need to be replaced. The recent backup tapes will need to be retrieved, and once this is done, they will need to be transported to the recovery site. An additional thing that will also need to be offered is the control center.
Disaster Recovery Site Control Center
The Control Center is defined as the computers which are present at the recovery site. The management team would be responsible for restoring operations from the recovery site, and these computers would be used to achieve this. It would also be a good idea for the management team to maintain a recovery log which could assist them in preparing status reports as well as documenting the event for historical reasons. This team would work from a checklist which would allow them to restore the functions of the organization.
Some of the functions that they would restore include the assembling and verifying of the software, hardware, and other resources that would be needed to bring everything back up to speed. They would also need to test and install both systems and the software applications. They would need to test the capabilities of the communications system, as well as recovering it. They would also need to determine the best point to start the recovery operations. They would need to restore the necessary back-up files, along with the applications which are deemed to be the most critical.
Power – Plain and simple, any network device or devices needs to have a highly reliable power for the network to continue working. UPS (uninterrupted power supply) has to be used in a large scale bases. Larger companies should have a powerful energy back-up source so that the network and the whole IT infrastructure.
Cooling – Hardware components are working 24/7 and it will naturally heat up the network. A highly efficient cooling system should be implemented. This cooling system should conform to the network requirement and never on the human requirement.
Monitoring and Management – More importantly, network administrators should have the right applications so that they should be able to monitor the activity and the performance of the network. All monitoring and management applications need to have the real time information and a highly efficient reporting system.
Active Maintenance – Network administrators also have to actively check the system from time to time. When the network is monitored and maintained, the chances of network disaster are minimized since administrators are being updated in real time basis. Depending on the networking configuration, administrators can repair and change some parts of the network without disrupting general configuration.
Location – Selecting the right location is very important as part of the infrastructure. Distance from the actual data source should be lessened. Data transmission takes time and physical requirements could greatly prohibit its performance. Environmental risks and unauthorized access should also be considered. Exposures to these types of risks are often missed out but could be disastrous if left unchecked.
As soon as the location is determined, the actual structure has to be considered. If the structure has not been built yet, the size of the structure should be considered. It should be enough for all major and minor components to be integrated. Security of the structure should also be considered.
Communication requirements that could cater WAN, LAN and SAN should also be available. The important component that should exist is the hi-speed communication as well as routing devices such as switches so that information and data should be properly trafficked.
Lastly, cooling and electrical requirements should be properly designed. Air conditioning should be continuous in the area. To complement this, the electrical supply in the area should be continuous. An independent power source such as UPS should be installed in the network.
You have now learnt various aspects of disaster recovery site essentials and also disaster recovery site control center. With the help of proper disaster recovery site, the management will be able to restore the functions of the organization in the least possible downtime in the event of any disaster. Though maintaining a disaster recovery site is comparatively expensive, it is well worth the extra investment.