Disaster recovery planning is a multistep,
complex process, and it can be easy to neglect some of the basics
during the planning and implementation phases. One such example is
hardware, an area that organizations often overlook, but that’s
necessary for a DR solution to succeed.

When it comes to hardware for DR solutions, the
most obvious component that comes to mind for nearly every solution
is tape backup devices. These devices can be as simple as
single-tape solutions, but they can also be much more complex. In
addition, several kinds of tape are also available.

Of course, each type of tape has its strengths
and weaknesses. However, each offers the ability to copy data from
a spinning disk onto more point-in-time-based media, so it often
comes down to an organization’s specific needs.

An organization’s hardware needs depend most
directly on the amount of data it needs to back up and how often it
needs to do it. Quantum’s DLTtape family of products and
StorageTek’s LTO line are the two primary products in play today,
but many legacy products and newer forms are available as well.

Disks themselves also come into play as DR
hardware. Keep in mind that many forms of replication tools rely on
identical storage hardware at both the primary and DR sites. This
means that implementing a DR strategy can dramatically increase a
company’s hardware budget, and you must address this issue when
developing your DR solution.

In addition, many DR plans include backing up
to a spinning disk. While this is a great way to achieve faster
recovery times, it does require properly sizing the additional
hardware resources required. Nothing’s worse than having your DR
systems running out of space to store data.

If you’re planning on using hardware-based
recovery technologies–especially hardware-based replication
tools–make sure you account and plan for all necessary hardware
before beginning implementation. For example, you may require
channel extension devices or other tools to permit disk systems to
talk to each other. VPN hardware is also often necessary to allow
multiple users to access multiple data systems at both the primary
and secondary locations.

And of course, you’ll likely need to add some
servers into your DR plan even if they won’t be running
applications at the DR site. Most platforms, including Windows
Active Directory, Novell Directory Services, or DNS systems,
require that directory services exist at both locations.

Making sure the proper hardware components are
in place when implementing a DR solution requires proper planning
and implementation at every step of the way. Failing to ensure
you’ve obtained the right gear often results in budget overruns,
wasted time waiting for shipments, and, most importantly, a longer
period of time when your organization’s data systems remain

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