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Disaster recovery is a topic that goes through cycles of high attention. After a disaster such as a fire or Hurricane Katrina there are stories of the good plans, the "no" plans, and the problems never anticipated. At the same time, technology continues to evolve - for example many companies are using hosted systems today where the data is stored "in the cloud". Definitely fits the "redundant" and excellent general controls for ensuring a sustainable system - but as technologies change so to must the disaster recovery planning.

An example is in a recent eWeek article: Disaster Recovery Planning Is Simpler, and Harder, Than Ever - By Chris Preimesberger (eWeek, July 21, 2008) Regulations and troubled times are forcing companies to take a harder and longer look at their disaster recovery systems; virtualization and computing in the cloud are helping to ease the burden.

Data storage planning for a disaster of any sort used to be a relatively simple process: The IT staff would back up all important current business data onto extra disk drive servers every night or weekend; transfer older information onto archive tape once a week or month; then watch Iron Mountain or a similar service come take the cartridges away and store them in a cool, dark place where the data would likely never be seen again.

Disaster recovery planning (preparation ???) costs are a big component of IT spending. Some estimate them at $20 billion. The issue in the age of the Internet, hosted applications, virtualization and generally complex IT environments is not only data redundancy but security (maybe SECURITY!), speed of recovery, automation of both the ongoing planning/preparation and recovery, and regulations. All of these issues makes for a very dynamic environment (and expensive!).

(note: see also the article that followed a few days later about problems encountered by the Amazon S3 cloud: Big Storage 'Clouds' Much Less Manageable, People are talking about the Amazon S3 fiasco of the evening of July 20 and what the long- and short-term implications of this breakdown might be for this popular storage service.)

2008-08-02

Tags: IT - data - DisasterRecovery

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Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.

St. Augustine

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