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More On Disaster Recovery: Mind The Gaps In Your Plans

We've talked a lot here about disaster recovery, and almost as much about planning for disaster recovery. In considering these, it's well-worth considering -- and looking for -- any hidden gaps or vulnerabilities that might bring even the best-laid plans to grief.
We've talked a lot here about disaster recovery, and almost as much about planning for disaster recovery. In considering these, it's well-worth considering -- and looking for -- any hidden gaps or vulnerabilities that might bring even the best-laid plans to grief.An e-mail from Continuity Software, which specializes in enterprise-level disaster recovery (DR) concerns and solutions got me thinking about how those same concerns and solutions affect small and midsize businesses.

Continuity's lead product, RecoverGuard is marketed as constant scan-and-monitor software that watches for vulnerabilities in network infrastructure, and gaps/vulnerabilities in DR systems and procedures.

Even a quick glance through Continuity Software's pages could bring to your attention a few -- and maybe more than a few -- disaster vulnerability and recovery gap areas that are as common (and essential) to small and midsize businesses as to multinational corporations.

To wit:

You back-up regularly to an off-site storage site -- how often do they back up?

Your business is ready to bounce back asap in the event of an extended power outage -- can the same be said of your remote sites? Your Web host or billing service?

You've grown your business through effective use of catalog pages prepared and mounted by an external vendor. How much do you know about the database structures and practices the vendor uses -- and the effects those structures and practices might have on speedy return to operation following a disaster?

The point that Continuity is making to its enterprise customers (and, of course, potential customers: they are after all marketing themselves ) is that effective DR involves not only current, consistent replication and protection of data, but also equally rapid and assured access to the data, and to the systems, programs and services that make it work for you and your customers.

A detailed look at Continuity Software's DR vulnerability findings for a major financial insititution can be found here (free download follows registration.)

Here's a good bMighty piece on how a nonprofit used an outside vendor to recover from a data disaster.

And some important questions for your off-site backup service are here.

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