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What do you call a disaster?


Defining the word "disaster" can be a tough one. This may be partly due to the "natural disasters" that recently took place in Norther California and the Southeast.

However, there are many potential disasters other than the rare acts of God which communications managers must worry about--including power failure, virus, and fire.

We have seen hundreds of articles written about companies' disaster-recovery efforts durng these two recent acts of God, with nearly all attention focused on the upper end of this broad market: hotsite facilities set up for large corporations.

This is a significant segment of a promising market, but "disaster recovery" represents a diverse industry in which protection exists in every-size company based on the amount of risk each needs to offset.

Get Real

Many hold the misconception that only large companies can affort do by protection from disaster. No company can afford not to protect its most critical data.

Another misconception is that this industry is relatively new. The birth of this industr was a result of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977.

Revenues from backup computer systems, software, and consulting services reached $375 million in 1988 and should double by 1992, according to Ledgeway Group, market researchers in Lexington, Mass. This industry is becoming more diverse each day as leaders target new vertical markets with a broader range of products than ever before.

EVery disaster-recovery strategy must be built upon a solid foundation of standard operating procedures consisting of uninterruptible power supply (UPS), regular backup and secure offsite storage of data, and a strong relationship with a network service provider. Understanding and complying with these standard procedures greatly reduces risk of failure and provides the foundation upon which effective contingency planning should be built.

First select a UPS system which will protect your equipment from the common interruptions: power outages, surges, brownouts. There are two principle types of UPS systems: continuous on-line system (true UPS) and standby power systems (SPS).

These two systems can be battery- or generator-driven, or they can use a combination of both technologies.

Astructured data-backup program is another standard operating procedure critical to a solid foundation.

The key to backup is differentiating between critical and noncritical applications when formulating the plan, says Phil Rothstein, contingency-planning consultant in Ossining, N.Y.

"Many companies make the mistake of backing up all the data instead of the applications which are essential to the livelihood of the company in the event of a disaster," he says. "Understanding which data is crucial to your company's survival gives focus to a structures backup plan and will greatly increase your chances of having and being able to find the right data."

Selecting a convenient but secure storage facility for backup data should need little explanation. But many mistakes are made when it comes to data storage. The most common is lacke of facility management.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Contingency Planning
Publication:Communications News
Date:Nov 1, 1990
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