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Centralize your disaster recovery work

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Tell us what you think about Mike Talon's advice about centralizing your recovery efforts, as featured in the July 1 Disaster Recovery e-newsletter. Is a lack of qualified, technical employees a concern for your organization? What have you done to mitigate this issue?

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Restoring Solaris to new hardware.

by g.ferguson In reply to Centralize your disaster ...

I don't have any specific comments about Mike's
article but I would like to share some work we have done at our company on DR. In particular
a complete procedure to allow restore of a SUN Solaris machine to new ( and different ) hardware.
This took a while to research, create and test.
Can someone let me know if this is of use and how and where I can submit it. Garry Ferguson

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OK for limited disasters

by mrtgrady In reply to Centralize your disaster ...

Restoring data across WAN links is fine as long as you're restoring files to a machine that is online and functioning.

Centralization for data backups is a very cost effective solution, providing you have invested sufficiently in your comms infrastructure (try restoring 10Gb of data over a DSL line and see how inefficient that is!) but what if the disaster is physical?

Disaster recovery is not just about data, it's about kit and the abilty to function as a business too. If the network card (or both if you've built your server right) have been fried by a freak electrical accident how do you restore files over a WAN? If the RAID array has failed or a workstations hard disk is faulty, what can you really do remotely?

A better stance is to take preventative action rather than reactive support. Put your centralised IT staff on a rolling pre-emptive support scheme, going from site to site on a regular basis to perform health checks and flag potential disaster before thay actually occur.

The best IT systems in the world suffer from the problem that management never notice anything has gone wrong, therefore requiring the IT department to continuously justify its staffing levels - and for that you just need to keep detailed maintenance logs.

After all, a replacement RAID array card is going to cost a lot less than a day with a site not being able to work. You don't pay for business insurance beacuse you HAVE made a mistake, you do so because it's a possibilty you might, and that's something management will not try to cut back on.

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E-vaulting can centralize backups

by ray In reply to Centralize your disaster ...

Backup technologies exist today to allow you to backup remote systems (where IT staff are scarce) to a central location. These "e-vaulting" solutions are focused on servers as opposed to desktops.

Infostor just wrote an article on the topic...see link

There are many options for recovery to address ad-hoc and bare-metal restore requirements.

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by cclayb03 In reply to Centralize your disaster ...

I am new to the disaster recovery field and am hoping you can enlighten me. If all the backup activities and tapes are in one central location don't you run a higher risk of losing all of your data than you would if it were decentralized?

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Not really...if it's done right.

by BryanS In reply to Centralization

A good DR plan should encompass, among other things, some sort of off-site storage of backup data. So if you remote backup your satelite site, the backups should then be vaulted off-site from the centralization point as well. There are many companies that e-vault your data or simply courier copies of your backup tapes to their secure facility on a regular basis.

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by MikeTalonNYC In reply to Not really...if it's done ...

Centralized backup, if done correctly, dramatically decreases the probability of disaster.

Putting the data in multiple locations always lowers your risk.

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OK for Small Business - Small Data

by Andrew Martin In reply to Centralize your disaster ...

I agree with Mike's assessment of the situation, but would add that for centralized backup solutions you might be best dealing with small business and smnall data.

It has been my experience that the larger a company, and the resulting size of data, the more worthwhile an in-house expert becomes.

Centralization of data recovery, whether backup or disaster recovery, is worthwhile only where a backup solution is prohibitively expensive for a single company.

If they can afford to spend themoney to protect their data, including the hardware and software then they really ought to invest and make sure that they have the skill set on board to make the most use of their investment.

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Large Scale too

by MikeTalonNYC In reply to OK for Small Business - S ...

Actually, many Fortune 100 companies are currently implementing centralized backup for remote offices that have no other need for technical staff outside of backup and occaional repair.

From the smallest to the largest firm, centralized backup works.

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by havenmoth In reply to Centralize your disaster ...

Centralization of data, this concept should only be considered if you do not have any other alternatives. I do believe that data should all be routed to a central recovery site, or point, but distributed to offsite locations that are not part of the main data center. If data is not replicated at/to a recovery site with telecommunications that is configured to handle the load and simply fail over also , what good is the replication? Training and internal audit of the backup processes can accomplish much!

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Server based computing

by philduffield In reply to Hmmmmmm

I work for a Citrix/Terminal Services integrator. We find that putting the applications and data on a central service farm is much more efficient than distributed LANs. You can replicate the data to a backup site(in real time if necessary) for a true disaster recovery/business continuity solution.
Phil Duffield

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