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An ounce of prevention: guidelines for preparing a disaster recovery plan

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1 Author(s)
Andrews, R.A. ; Veda Inc., Dayton, OH, USA

The effects of disasters can render an organization helpless. Over 70% of organizations that experience a serious emergency close within two years. Virtually all high-tech organizations are computer-dependent and most cannot perform day-to-day operating activities without their computer systems. In defense software development efforts, the loss of months or years of development work could end a program. The most difficult task of the recovery stage is resuming computer operations. The computer system(s) of an organization must be reconfigured quickly if the organization is to avoid long-term damage. Not only must new hardware and system software be acquired, but the entire system must be configured to the original “pre-disaster” state. This rebuilding process includes restoring the required communication links and restoring the application software to each designated machine. This assumes that the systems are backed-up regularly, and the media are stored offsite. The objective of this paper is to heighten the awareness of the need for every business organization, or laboratory project, to have a disaster recovery (or business resumption) plan. Experience has shown that organizations which have contingency plans in place prior to an emergency have a much greater chance for survival than those organizations which only prepare the plan after a disaster has occurred. The focus is on preparing for emergencies involving an organization's computer systems. Steps for putting together a recovery plan, including issues that must be addressed in coordinating such a plan, are discussed

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronics Conference, 1994. NAECON 1994., Proceedings of the IEEE 1994 National

Date of Conference:

23-27 May 1994