Essay: Disaster Management and Business Recovery

Sample Essay

a) Disaster Recovery Process for an IT Data Centre.

Every Organization needs contingency plans in order to deal with disasters which could destroy or severely damage the data that it holds in its data center. These disasters can be natural, such as floods, earthquake or tornadoes, or can be man-made, such as sabotage, or a malicious attack. Therefore, each organization needs to have a disaster recovery process which it can follow to restrict the damage of the disaster and to recover quickly from it. The disaster recovery process starts with the planning step. This step involves identifying the important systems and resources, such as applications and hardware that is critical to security of the data center and set their priority. It also involves preparation of a damage assessment plan, the identification of disasters that can hit the data center and a list of triggers which would enable the disaster recovery efforts.

The planning phase also includes designing of plan to recover critical data center functionality before, during and after the disaster. It would include assessment of security measure such security application and devices installed on the premises as well as evaluation of the data backup procedures,  followed by establishment of responsibilities and designation of responsibilities to IT Data center staff. Furthermore, a notification plan is developed for establishing a process for informing management hierarchy. For cases where the nature of disaster is so severe that the data center is unable to function, a backup hot site is also designated.

Once the planning phase is complete, recommendations are made to add or improve measure for efficient and swift disaster recovery, while the designated teams perform their maintenance functions according to the disaster recovery plan. Training and testing is conducted on regular basis in order to ensure that the plan is workable and flawless and to ensure those employees are well capable of handling a disastrous situation. Triggers are also set to alarm once a situation which can be considered a disaster is reached. Once a disaster has struck, the disaster recovery implementation phase begun. The After-Disaster plan is activated, and management is informed by following a notification plan. This is followed by damage assessment which leads to decision on activation of backup hot site or not. If the hot site is activated, personnel work according the plan to establish full functionality at the backup hot site while work is carried out at the data center to recover its functionality. Once the data center is restored to its full functionality, tests are performed to ensure its stability and integrity, passing which the data center is made operational. This marks the end of disaster recovery process (Topi and Brown 2000).

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