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Disaster Recovery Planning – Tips for A Proactive Approach

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The process of disaster recovery planning is extremely challenging. During the phases of planning, there is an inherent tendency in people to focus on the disasters of a more tangible form like natural disasters, break-ins and fire. Even data disasters are considered but that too as rare instances. This whole attitude is evidently shortsighted and contrasts the comprehensive overview companies should take while handling disaster plans. It can help to solve your problem and keep your business safe if you think proactively. This article will provide you with some helpful suggestions to better plan disasters.

First of all, it is imperative that you review the emergency procedures quarterly. Your key personnel should be updated with all the technical articles related to primary messaging and business systems. Therefore, availability of detailed documentation in the server room explaining software settings and individual machine configuration is a must. With each machine, the administrative documentation must be complete.

If a business runs Microsoft Exchange Message Server, in case of an outage, will there be a secondary restore server in order to restore the server’s Information Store in its place? Log Files are used to record transaction messages by all the current versions of Exchange Server before being committed to Information Store database. While in saving the storage space, Circular Logging may be of assistance, in case of a data disaster, the complete log files set is crucial to bring to up to date the restored Information Store and get the users data back.

The disaster recovery planning must also make some arrangements for offsite storage of various media and backup tapes. The additional testing steps for validation will be brought to the plan by tape backups. You should make sure that you periodically test the backups. Consistent and regular tape rotation and the life span monitoring of tapes are an important part of the process to ensure reduction in media failures.

In case of disasters involving different systems like RAID storage systems and others like SAN, JBOD and NAS systems, a different perspective into disaster planning is required. The storage systems mentioned here have redundancy architecture that prevents disasters and outages but the sense of security they provide can indeed be false. There are many instances cited by clients where the security provided by these products has failed to provide them protection and it is not uncommon to hear reports of cascade of failures occurring in quick succession. In one case, what began as a minor problem in one server where a drive would go offline for a brief moment had led to the client with storage space of 40TB spread over twenty servers opt for Remote Data Recovery. The hardware these systems were using is RAID 1+O configurations. In the case cited here, huge amounts of data were being processed from 3 shifts/day and the client concerned was absolutely sure that the storage configuration was totally bullet-proof. Even though these configurations can ensure protection against multiple drive failures, the simple problem in that situation was that the drive did not fail but only went offline and when it came back online, it met with file system inconsistencies. Data disasters can be both single-tiered and multi-tiered, the latter is just a combination of various minor disasters. For Storage Solutions get in touch with Jafint today.

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