business continuity best practices

albeit from an IT angle, what are the main sub categories of business continuity? And are there any best practice reference guides for business continuity when the majority of your servers are now hosted in the cloud?
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Connectivity, redundant local and cloud connectivity
Server continuity (Data Corruption)
Server Continuity OS corruption
Remote Backup/restore

The Default continuity and DR requirements within both local and hosted solutions should remain the same, the only difference here would be the fine points around RTO and RPO (Recovery Time Objective, Recovery Point Objectives). Regardless of where your infrastructure is located you still need to be aware of each service running within your infrastructure and how you would recover from any outage or data loss. Of course the risk of hardware failure is much reduced and if you are using items such as availability zones and a good backup schedule you maybe able to recover from outages very fast, i would still document each eventuality and present the risks back to the business.

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pma111Author Commented:
>the only difference here would be the fine points around RTO and RPO (Recovery Time Objective, Recovery Point Objectives)

can you elaborate a little on this point. I understand the concepts between RTO and RPO but wasnt sure where the difference lies between hosted solution or local infrastructure.
This is the Fun part when proposing and solution hosted or local, each solution will include the same information for sign off by the business.

RTO - Recover Time Objective
How long before you can get a system/service back up and running. If this is cloud hosted you could be looking at fail over times between availability zones, it could be the recovery time from a Glacier backups. If you are imaging via a 3rd party tool down to local hardware how long would this take to replay on to local hardware.

If Server A in Site A fails it will take X amount of time to recover Server A to Site B
If Data Corruption on Server A it will take X amount of time to recover data back to Server A

RPO (Recovery Point Objective)
You need to know what points in time you can go back to, on both Physical and virtual infrastructure the ability to restore from backup will still be down to a pre-defined backup schedule for all Data/Server/Services. The only difference here is what solution you put in place the manage and maintain the backup process. With Cloud/Virtual solutions you may have the option to snapshot servers hourly but with physical you may need to rely on Tape backups for your recovery.

So i think the point is there is no difference between hosted or local solutions only that you need to ensure that you have a complete plan of action for recovery. The tools available for hosted solutions may allow for much improved RTO's & RPO's. This is all in the planning, preparation and business sign off.

I hope that helps. If you have any questions around specific hosted technology and backup/recovery options in the market i may be able to point you in the right direction
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