One of my clients told me a story
about one of his
clients–a major enterprise that has absolutely no interest in
off-site data protection. The company’s disaster recovery plan only
addresses local availability and recovery because the business (a
hospitality and entertainment venue) is totally reliant on the
buildings that constitute its property.

Because all of the buildings are a part of the
same site, the organization’s powers-that-be felt there was no need
to back up systems to another location. However, this philosophy
couldn’t be further from the truth.

Just because your business doesn’t extend
beyond the walls of a building doesn’t mean your data shouldn’t.
While the likelihood of losing an entire facility may be small, it
still exists.

Granted, your primary focus should be on the
protection of individual systems and groups of systems with local
backup and availability measures. However, keeping a current copy
of your vital data in another facility is still a good idea.

If the company loses the building or a group of
facilities to a disaster, many resulting issues will require the
use of the company’s data in the weeks and months following the
cessation of business activities.

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First, there are the issues of dealing with
insurance claims. You’ll need financial reports and facilities
management data stored in the company’s data systems in order to
assess the amount of the claim as well as be able to prove that the
assessment is accurate.

In the event of a disaster, it will be
imperative that your company has access to this important data.
Failure to keep such records safely stored in an off-site facility
could easily lead to your business finding itself with no way to
properly file the insurance claims that it needs to rebuild.

In addition, you should expect and prepare for
lawsuits that result from the disaster. Such suits are often an
unfortunate inevitability of any major calamity.

Make sure you’ve stored all records regarding
maintenance, security, and other factors in another safe place
besides the physical location of your business. Should customers or
employees suspect arson, sabotage, or other forms of malicious
intent, you will no doubt want to have this data on-hand well after
the loss of your production data systems in order to prove that the
company took the appropriate measures to avoid such criminal

This best practice also applies to data
concerning architecture, safety measures, and fire-prevention
systems. You’ll need this information handy if an insurance company
or another party tries to place the blame for the disaster on what
remains of the corporate entity.

Just because your organization’s business
relies on its physical location doesn’t mean you can settle for a
DR plan that only addresses local data protection. In fact, these
organizations should concentrate more on off-site data protection
because it will be the only thing that they can fall back on if a
disaster destroys their buildings.

If your building is the business, failing
over to another site during a small emergency may not be your best
bet. But in the case of a catastrophe, it’s vital that you can get
your data back quickly and accurately–no matter what.

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