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Ensure end-user connectivity in an emergency

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Does your organization's disaster recovery plan address communicating with end users to keep them in the loop? What steps have you taken to make sure both internal and external users will be able to access systems as soon as possible after a disaster? Share your comments about ensuring end-user connectivity in an emergency, as discussed in the Aug. 10 Disaster Recovery e-newsletter.

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Every situation is different...

by HappyJack In reply to Ensure end-user connectiv ...

As the Continuity Manager at a global organization with 155 locations and about 5,000 employees, the task of ensuring connectivity, to both internal and external clients is not an easy one, nor is it one to be taken lightly... here's some insight into the process.

A few things need to be assessed prior to determining what 'your organization' requires for end-user connectivity and how that recovery/availability should be handled.

1. A good analysis of the risks affecting your network/connectivity will ensure that you are realistic about the needs of ALL end-users.
2. A thorough BIA (Business Impact Analysis) should follow the risk/threat analysis as it will ensure that you have, clearly, identified what your internal and external clients require to continue, at least minimally, 'normal' operations. The key to the BIA is to take EVERY function/unit (in IT if that is all you are creating a plan for) and rate the processes that the end-users are doing (say from 1-5) as critical or non-critical, and then the time frame for which they need to be accomplished (hourly, daily, weekly, etc.). By doing so, you will ensure that you concentrate on 'critical' functions first, and, as the recovery moves forward, you may, as required, concentrate on less critical functions. Included in the BIA is, also, the assessment of recovery time - how long can you be without before it will create permanent and serious damage to the company.

Possible solutions can include HA (High Availability) contracts with some of the players in the market (SunGard, IBM, HP, etc), or, some type of internal HA solution (Load-Balanced w/two or more locations, mirror/replication to two or more locations, etc), a more detailed managed solution where your IT operations are, mainly, out-sourced completely where the HA is already built into the process(es).

Realistically, I could go on and on about the subject, but, the short and short of it is...
Ensure that you are detailed and accurate in your assumptions, as well as, ensure that ALL of your analysis and done with extreme attention to accuracy - take your time. I always say, it's better to do something right ONCE then quickly 10 times.

Randy

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