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Top disaster recovery and business continuity planning tips for SMBs

SearchSMBStorage Editorial Staff

A recent survey conducted by Rubicon Consulting Inc. and funded by Symantec Corp. revealed that half of SMBs have lost critical business data, and nearly a third of those companies lost sales or customers as a direct result of disasters.

To help you stay up to date on the latest disaster recovery technologies, we've compiled our best tips on DR and business continuity for SMBs in one place. Learn about how to conduct a

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risk assessment, how often to have a DR test, what you need in BC plan, and about outsourcing disaster recovery services.

 Conducting a risk assessment for SMBs
Gaining an understanding of the kind of impact an unplanned outage or disaster can have on an IT environment is crucial to selecting which technology must be deployed to reduce or mitigate that impact. This is usually done through a business impact analysis (BIA). Learn the importance of  conducting a risk assessment for SMBs and how to determine risk in disaster recovery planning in this tip.

 What you need in a DR plan
Recent reports indicate that as many as half of all SMBs lack a business continuity or disaster recovery (DR) plan. Those who do formulate plans often discover they lack certain information or coverage when a disaster strikes. Learn about what you need in a disaster recovery plan.

 Disaster recovery sites: How to choose the correct location 
There is not a one-size-fits-all solution or magic formula that will allow you to plug in your problems and give you a magic distance for your alternative data center. This article provides some guidelines to help you decide how to choose the right location for your DR site.

Conducting a disaster recovery test for SMBs
Besides making sure the plan will actually work when needed, regular DR testing offers other benefits, including:

  • An opportunity to maintain and update the plan as the environment changes
  • A great DR training opportunity
  • A raise in the profile of your DR program and a heightened awareness within the company
  • Test results that can be available for auditors to review

In this tip, learn how to have a successful DR test in in an SMB environment.

  Disk-based data backup and recovery for SMBs
As storage capacity needs grow in SMBs, disk is increasingly being used as a backup storage target. In this FAQ, Executive Editor and Independent Backup Expert W. Curtis Preston discusses the role of disk-based backup in the SMB space. You can also download his interview on disk backup for SMBs.

How to establish a recovery time objective
What does recovery time objective (RTO) exactly mean? We find this acronym in just about every discussion, brochure or write up about data backups or disaster recovery. Understand how to establish an RTO in this article.

 Disaster recovery fundamentals FAQ
Disaster recovery impacts all aspects of IT, including storage, networking, data center management and data security. In this FAQ guide, listen to the answers to the most common questions about DR fundamentals.

 Business continuity and disaster recovery outsourcing tutorial
Outsourcing disaster recovery and business continuity (BC) services can save you money and increase productivity by transferring some IT functions to experienced third parties, but it also has its downsides. Learn about whether or not you should outsource DR services in our  business continuity and disaster recovery outsourcing tutorial.

 Using a tabletop exercise for disaster recovery planning
A tabletop disaster recovery exercise provides a practical checklist of procedures to follow during a disaster. Learn about the critical procedures and planning documents needed to ensure every disaster scenario has been covered in your business and why tabletop DR exercises are helpful.

 Best practices for selecting a disaster recovery facility 
Based on the size and needs of your business, you need to determine what type of disaster recovery facility to use; an in-house facility using another office location; a collocation facility; or a managed collocation space. Learn how about  best practices for selecting a disaster recovery facility .

If you want to learn even more about data protection for SMBs, bookmark our special section on data backup for SMBs.

This was first published in March 2009

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