Disaster Recovery Planning

The word disaster brings up visions of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and fires in our minds. In the context of information technology (IT) we tend to envision smoke coming out of a server or some other significant failure of technology.  Disaster Recovery (DR) plans are an IT departments way to plan for any foreseeable technology disaster in a specific company’s technology infrastructure,
A recent event in England brings DR planning to the forefront. British Airways has stated that the power outage at their England Data Center cost the airline 80 million pounds. Technology experts around the globe are at a loss as to how this kind of outage could have occurred in a modern data center, where EVERYTHING is supposed to be 100% redundant with automatic fail-over processes in place. According to BA's explanation of events, there would not have been time to execute a DR plan. However, the circumstances that led to the outage should have never existed in their IT environment. A good DR plan would have uncovered the shortcomings that allowed this event to occur, and have put contingencies in place to prevent it.
DR plans are extremely detailed in their content and scope. They are sectioned into areas that will contain information and procedures needed to quickly restore computing operations. Each IT discipline will have a section containing the specific details of the unique environment. All documentation is kept up to date and there are also plans for testing various recovery methods to ensure that they are tested and work.
Testing of DR plans is just as important as having the plan. Practicing what to do in an emergency ensures that the plan will actually work and uncover issues and shortcomings in the plan.
BUSINESS NEWS | Thu Jun 15, 2017 | 8:10am EDT
British Airways CEO puts cost of recent IT outage at 80 million pounds​​

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People queue with their luggage for the British Airways check-in desk at Gatwick Airport in southern England, Britain, May 28, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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