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DR and biz continuity for small business

Posted on 2014-10-02
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Last Modified: 2014-10-12
Is there a best practice for DR and business continuity for small business including process and technologies? Thanks
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Question by:leblanc
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Larry Struckmeyer MVP earned 2000 total points
ID: 40358666
Hi:

You have asked for a book.. not a short answer to a question.  <g>.  

In the old days it was sufficient to put the green ledger books in a "fireproof" safe at the end of the day.  Inventory and such were covered by insurance.  Start there.. review the insurance coverage on your assets.... staff, key employees, founder, managing director and so on.  Then the inventory, tools and equipment and other physical and brain power required to run the business.

Now the electronic bits.  The computers and the rest of the IT "stuff" are just tools.  They can be replaced with insurance whether purchased or self insured.  If you can purchase an insurance policy for loss of data then the rest of this may be of no matter.

What is the nature of the small business?  What data is at risk?  What is the least amount of time the business could be without the data or the computers or the server and survive.  Beyond surviving, what about just inconvenienced?  what about lost productivity of staff.  What is meant by disaster recovery?  The system that holds the data dies?  The building is destroyed by fire or tornado or such?  IT equipment is stolen or the storage media erased by a disgruntled employee?  What if the entire region is out of business for a year as happed to New Orleans LA, USA a few years back, or equally catastrophic as in the World Trade Center attacks in the US?

This goes well beyond having a tape backup.  You must think about what might go wrong and what you would do if.......  Short of a comet hitting the planet you should be able to work out a solution to most things.

If you want advice on a specific scenario, I think that backing up the data and systems necessary to maintain the flow of required electrons every day to at least three external media that are rotated out of the building so that one is always in a safe place away from the building is a good place to start.  Add "cloud" backup as a fail safe if you don't need to be running in within a few days.  Add a BDR if you do.
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