best advice for creating a disaster recovery plan

I am attempting to create a disaster recovery plan for my company , di you know of any good documents on the best practices on what to do and what not to do ?
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That's a really broad question.  The main tip I've found vital is - no matter how much trouble or complaining you get you must test your backups and check their status regularly.  The majority of the time I've been to a customer to do disaster recovery the backup they thought they had either hadn't run in forever or was no good even though the backup software said 100% successful every day.
If budget allows I would have a test box identical to the main server to test restores on and have for spare parts.
This may get you started or at least give you ideas on how to narrow down your question.
Some companies have complete offices replicated with everything needed to start up immediately.
Go to and click on "Open for business" on the right side. This is a course they teach and includes sample templates to collect your information.

I think the online instruction was free when you create an account, but I'm not sure if it's still that way.
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NIST, the National Institute for Standards and Technology is a great resource for documentation standards on all aspects of IT, including best practices.  look for "NIST Special Publication 800-34" it is the "Contingency Planning Guide for. Information Technology Systems"  both the original version and Revision 1 are great documents including step-by-step instructions.  the NIST website is
The BCP/Disaster Recovery Plan is designed to create a state of readiness that would minimize disruptions and enable rapid recovery following a disaster occurrence. It is reviewed and updated, at a minimum, on an annual-basis to ensure the continuous accuracy and validity of the plan.

Normally a BCP Steering Committee directs and approves all matters relating to the development, testing, implementation and ongoing maintenance of the BCP.

In our case,  the BCP differentiates between; minor contingencies (where we can still use our principal operations site); and major contingencies (where our principal site is no longer usable and operations or systems have to be run from the back-up site).

Our plan covers all aspects of the business procedure, including systems. The plan contains details of the hardware, software and staffing requirements for off-site processing in circumstances that render our main processing area inoperable. It allocates tasks to pre-designated staff members involved in the establishment of the off-site operation. We have back-up machines in our offsite centre which contain full copies of all applications and data. The data is mirrored from the production environment.

Make sure you understand the purpose of BC planning. BCP is to ensure the business’s survival, not just to recover computer/Server systems. Please note, that creating a plan will be a new experience and without guidance, a huge amount of time will be spent in learning about disaster recovery and BCP.

 I would suggest that you include three essential areas in your document:
(1) network configuration;
(2) current operations procedures;
(3) offsite data storage.
(4) make sure:
    -plan the mode of communication (Bandwidth) between two sites Production and DR site
    -disaster recovery costs, options, and disaster declaration procedures understandable..
    -have a sufficient budget to support your disaster recovery program..
    -test your plan using a worst-case scenarios..

Please note:
Keep the DR-Plan documents updated.
Distance between locations is probably not an issue. Having it at a different location is. You may want to have it at a place that is geographically close to you, which could help.

Also, you should ask a manager about the Disaster Recovery objectives and the business continuity plan. if she/he's unable to provide you that, there isn't a plan for BCP and DR. The Management should look at business risks and technical risks and should be able to make the main BCP, take the following points/questions inconsideration:

- During the course of a disaster or significant disruption, does your organization have written plans for business continuity and IT disaster recovery?
- Do the established plans cover critical business functions with recovery priorities?
- Have you performed a business impact analysis including Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective?
- Do you have a dedicated team of professionals focused on business continuity and/or IT disaster recovery?
- Is senior management fully committed to disaster recovery and business continuity?
- Are your disaster recovery costs, options, and disaster declaration procedures understandable?
- Is your business continuity plan updated regularly to keep it current with hardware, software, business and staffing changes?
- Is there remote accessibility to your disaster recovery center?
- Has your plan been tested for the possibility of facility loss?
- Does your organization have a documented crisis management process?
- What is your organization recovery strategy? Hot Sites, Warm Sites, Cold sites ..etc.
- Do you have written backup and archive procedures?
- Do you have industry-standard back-up solutions? (media, tape, drives, library, software etc.)
- Do you periodically test your back-up media?
- Does your current backup and recovery methodology fulfill management’s business uptime needs?
- make sure your disaster recovery costs, options, and disaster declaration procedures understandable..
- make sure you have a sufficient budget to support your disaster recovery program..
- make sure to test your plan using a worst-case scenarios..

Links for reading:
look @,293876,sid187,00.html?query=CDP&x=0&y=0
search via google the following -->  "searchdisasterrecovery DR Plan.doc"
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