Network Disaster Recovery
An important part of any disaster recovery plan concerns how you will handle
communications. Without effective communications, your attempts at handling the
disaster will be hampered, and other people will not be able to do their jobs as well as
they might otherwise.
Start by listing all of the different parties who may need to be notified of a problem,
its progress toward resolution, and its final resolution. Your list might look something
The board of directors
The chief executive officer or president
The vice presidents of all areas
The vice president or head of an affected area
Employees affected by the problem
For each of these parties--and any others you may identify--you next need to
consider what level of problem requires their notification. The board of directors,
for example, might not need to know about a disaster unless it is likely that it will
have a material effect on the company's performance. Your supervisor, on the other
hand, probably wants to be notified about every problem, and certainly any affected
employees need to be notified.
Once you have listed the parties to notify and what they need to be informed
about, you should then decide how you will inform them. If you're the primary
person resolving the disaster, it's best to delegate notification to someone else who
is less directly involved so that you can focus on resolving the problem as quickly as
possible. For example, the job of communicating with the appropriate people should
be delegated to your supervisor or to an employee who works in your department and
is free to handle this job. Whoever has this job should be clear on the communication
procedures and should have access to the necessary contact information--such as home
phone numbers, pager numbers, cell phone numbers, and so forth--for situations that
require notification after working hours. You may also want to consider setting up a
telephone tree for rapid notification. Finally, for your environment and for different
types of disasters, you may need to specify the order in which people are notified,
which may not match their order in the company's organization chart.
The written disaster recovery plan should include all of the preceding information.
Planning Off-Site Storage
Off-site storage is an important way of protecting some of your backup tapes in the
event that a physical disaster, such as a fire, destroys all of your on-site copies. Because
off-site storage is such an important aspect of disaster protection, it should be discussed
in your disaster recovery plan.