Disaster Recovery Services

Greyhound Technologies

Disaster Recovery Services

Why Rely on Greyhound Technologies for Your Disaster Recovery Services?

Reducing down time is crucial to your business, let us show you why a disaster recovery strategy is much more than just a simple backup and restore. Having a documentation set will make your data restoration process much quicker and easier if you:

  • Identify the cost of lost revenue
  • Identify vulnerabilities
  • Plan and Test a solution
  • Verify Backup Media
  • Maintain Off Site Tape Storage
  • Determine Financial Cost of Lost Data
  • Revise your solution as your environment changes
  • Let Greyhound create a Disaster Recovery Solution for your business.

Feel free to contact a Greyhound Technical Representative to discuss a solution that will ensure your business critical data is not lost in case of a catastrophic event.

What would you do if a storm flooded your data center? Or how would you respond if a power outage blacked out your servers? How would you recover your data and keep the business running after an unforeseen disaster? When disasters strike unprepared companies the consequences range from prolonged system downtime and the resulting revenue loss to the companies going out of business completely, yet many IT shops are not prepared to deal with such scenarios.
The key to surviving such an event is a business continuity strategy, a set of policies and procedures for reacting to and recovering from an IT-disabling disaster, and the main component of a business continuity strategy is a disaster recovery plan (DRP). In this article, DevX and Cole Emerson, President of Cole Emerson & Associates, Inc., a business-continuity consulting firm, and chairman of the board of DRI International, administrators of a global certification program for business continuity/disaster recovery planners, walk through the basics of creating an effective DRP.

The first step in drafting a disaster recovery plan is conducting a thorough risk analysis of your computer systems. List all the possible risks that threaten system uptime and evaluate how imminent they are in your particular IT shop. Anything that can cause a system outage is a threat, from relatively common manmade threats like virus attacks and accidental data deletions to more rare natural threats like floods and fires. Determine which of your threats are the most likely to occur and prioritize them using a simple system: rank each threat in two important categories, probability and impact. In each category, rate the risks as low, medium, or high.
For example, a small Internet company (less than 50 employees) located in California could rate an earthquake threat as medium probability and high impact, while the threat of utility failure due to a power outage could rate high probability and high impact. So in this company's risk analysis, a power outage would be a higher risk than an earthquake and would therefore be a higher priority in the disaster recovery plan. Prior to selecting a disaster recovery strategy, a disaster recovery planner should refer to their organization's business continuity plan which should indicate the key metrics of recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) for various business processes (such as the process to run payroll, generate an order, etc). The metrics specified for the business processes must then be mapped to the underlying IT systems and infrastructure that support those processes.
Once the RTO and RPO metrics have been mapped to IT infrastructure, the DR planner can determine the most suitable recovery strategy for each system. An important note here however is that the business ultimately sets the IT budget and therefore the RTO and RPO metrics need to fit with the available budget. While most business unit heads would like zero data loss and zero time loss, the cost associated with that level of protection may make the desired high availability solutions impractical.
The following is a list of the most common strategies for data protection.
Backups made to tape and sent off-site at regular intervals (preferably daily) Backups made to disk on-site and automatically copied to off-site disk, or made directly to off-site disk Replication of data to an off-site location, which overcomes the need to restore the data (only the systems then need to be restored or synced). This generally makes use of storage area network (SAN) technology High availability systems which keep both the data and system replicated off-site, enabling continuous access to systems and data In many cases, an organization may elect to use an outsourced disaster recovery provider to provide a stand-by site and systems rather than using their own remote facilities. In addition to preparing for the need to recover systems, organizations must also implement precautionary measures with an objective of preventing a disaster in the first place. These may include some of the following: Local mirrors of systems and/or data and use of disk protection technology such as RAID Surge protectors to minimize the effect of power surges on delicate electronic equipment Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and/or backup generator to keep systems going in the event of a power failure Fire preventions alarms, fire extinguishers Anti-virus software and other security measures Classification of Disasters Disaster can be classified in two broad categories. Viz, 1) Natural disasters Preventing a natural disaster is very difficult, but it is possible to take precautions to avoid losses. These disasters include flood, fire, earthquake, hurricane, etc 2) Man made disasters - These disasters are major reasons for failure. Human error and intervention may be intentional or unintentional which can cause massive failures such as loss of communication and utility. These disasters include accidents, walkouts, sabotage, burglary, virus, intrusion, etc.

General steps to follow while creating BCP/DRP

  • 1. Identify the scope and boundaries of business continuity plan. First step enables us to define scope of BCP. It provides an idea for limitations and boundaries of plan. It also includes audit and risk analysis reports for institutionís assets.
  • 2. Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA). Business impact analysis is the study and assessment of effects to the organization in the event of the loss or degradation of business/mission functions resulting from a destructive event. Such loss may be financial, or less tangible but nevertheless essential (e.g. human resources, shareholder liaison)
  • 3. Sell the concept of BCP to upper management and obtain organizational and financial commitment. Convincing senior management to approve BCP/DRP is key task. It is very important for security professionals to get approval for plan from upper management to bring it to effect.
  • 4. Each department will need to understand its role in plan and support to maintain it. In case of disaster, each department has to be prepared for the action. To recover and to protect the critical functions, each department has to understand the plan and follow it accordingly. It is also important for each department to help in the creation and maintenance of its portion of the plan.
  • 5. The BCP project team must implement the plan. After approval from upper management plan should be maintained and implemented. Implementation team should follow the guidelines procedures in plan.
  • 6. NIST tool set can be used for doing BCP. National Institute of Standards and Technologies has published tools which can help in creating BCP.

With the increasing importance of information technology for the continuation of business critical functions, combined with a transition to an around-the-clock economy, the importance of protecting an organization's data and IT infrastructure in the event of a disruptive situation has become an increasing and more visible business priority in recent years.

Disaster Recovery Planning - The Basics

The Right Start

To succeed, the planning exercise must have full support.. and be well planned in itself Disaster Recovery Plan Having a disaster recovery plan is a fundamental responsibility of every organization. Developing one need not be a trauma.

Why Bother Planning?

There are a number of good reasons why the plan development project is essential. Contingency Health Check How often do you review the adequacy of your contingency? How thorough is the review? Make It Policy Contingency planning should be company policy... find suggested policy content here. Back Up As a rule of thumb, the more effort you put into this, the easier recovery will be BIA/Risk Assessment Impact and risk analysis will help you ensure that your arrangements and disaster recovery plans are appropriate. Maintenance Changes to organizations occur all the time - it is important that your plans and continuity arrangements reflect these.

Service Level Agreements - The SLA

Most organizations are dependent upon services or products provided by others. This can be an achilles heel as far as continuity is concerned. However, the situation can be mitigated via the use of a binding service level agreement (SLA). This will stipulate expectations and requirements clearly for both parties.
As with the disaster recovery plan, the SLA should be carefully crafted to suit your particular situation. The DRG can hopefully provide some background and sensible guidance on this via our new Service Level Agreement Section.

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