Top five disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity tips for SMBs in 2009

Many SMBs have a hard time fitting DR into their data backup plans. So we've compiled the top five DR and BC tips for SMBs in 2009.

For some small- to midsized businesses (SMBs), disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) can be hard to fit in their small budgets. Also, many SMBs have a hard time figuring out what types of tools and technologies they should incorporate into their DR plans. As a result, some SMBs tend to put disaster recovery and business continuity plans to the side. However, smaller budgets and confusion about DR solutions are poor excuses...

for an SMB to not have a DR plan.

"With tight budgets, SMBs who are at the same, if not more risk than larger organizations looking to save money often neglect BC and DR, not realizing that without access to their information, they may not [have] a business," said Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO. "Cost used to be a barrier; however, there are plenty of solutions that can be aligned to SMBs providing tiered data protection to stretch dollars further while enabling business survivability."

To help you learn more about disaster recovery for SMBs, we've compiled our five best tips on DR for SMBs from 2009. Whether you need more information on DR and BC strategies, want to learn easy ways to improve your DR plan, want to know how often to conduct DR tests, or want to learn how to outsource disaster recovery, we have all the information here at SearchSMBStorage.com.

TIP #1

A tutorial on disaster recovery and business continuity planning strategies for SMBs
Many SMBs assume that business continuity and disaster recovery are expensive luxuries. Furthermore, they tend to have little experience in DR and little money to spend on it, so it's not a surprise that many SMBs struggle to find the right tools and resources to make a strong and affordable DR plan for their organization. This tutorial is loaded with tips on disaster recovery and business continuity for SMBs. Learn about how to put a disaster recovery plan together, conduct a risk assessment, the pros and cons of outsourcing DR, and more in this tutorial on disaster recovery and business continuity planning strategies for SMBs.

TIP #2

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning templates: Free downloads
Disaster recovery and business continuity planning templates can help everything from risk assessment -- to mapping out the details needed in disaster recovery plans, such as key contacts information, step-by-step service resumption activities, delivery and recovery from off-site data backups and more. This guide lists SearchDisasterRecovery.com's free downloadable disaster recovery and business continuity templates.

TIP #3

How often should I conduct a disaster recovery (DR) test for my SMB?
Disaster recovery plans should be tested as often as possible, and that requirement does not exclude SMBs. In this ask the expert (ATE) response Greg Schulz recommends that business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery processes should be tested routinely, not once in a while. Testing a DR plan verifies information and points out any flaws a plan may have. Read the entire ATE response on disaster recovery tests for SMBs.

TIP #4

Best practices to help avoid and recover from security disasters
Security breaches are always a concern for organizations, big or small. Passwords can be stolen. Information can be put into the wrong hands. And systems can get hacked into. Are companies doing enough to keep their data protected? Are security breaches a rising concern for disaster recovery? What steps should be taken to avoid security disasters? Learn about the best practices to help your company avoid and/or recover from security disasters in this podcast with Paul Kirvan.

TIP #5

Outsourcing disaster recovery services for SMBs
Organizations have a choice to keep their disaster recovery services on site or outsource them to a remote location. For many SMBs, outsourcing their DR services is a smart idea, because if a natural disaster hits their organization's location, it may put them out of business for days or even weeks. Read about the benefits of outsourcing data backup and disaster recovery services for SMBs in this article.

To help you stay up to date on disaster recovery for SMBs in 2010, bookmark our special section on SMBs and DR for the latest news, tips and tutorials on SMB disaster recovery.

This was first published in December 2009

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