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Disaster recovery planning 'more critical than ever'

Disaster recovery planning 'more critical than ever'

The growing dependence of many firms on digital information means it is now more important than ever for companies to have a solid database disaster recovery plan in place.

This is according to Biztech magazine, which highlighted figures from International Data Corporation (IDC) that demonstrate just how much the landscape is set to change over the coming years.

IDC's research found that in 2013, 1.8 zettabytes - or 1.8 trillion gigabytes - of information was generated. However, it was predicted that by 2020, this volume will have expanded 50-fold.

"These numbers represent ever growing business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) challenges for IT departments," the publication stated. "Should an outage occur, IT managers need access to tested DR technologies, policies and procedures to restore vital production systems."

But despite this pressing need, it was noted many companies are failing to heed the warning signs. A survey by Information Week late last year found a third of IT professionals admitted their organisation has no formal BC or DR plans in place. More than one in ten said they were not even close to being able to address the topic.

This could be hugely costly, as with enterprises being ever more dependent on data, outages can have a severe impact on productivity, in the worst-case scenarios completely removing a firm's ability to do business until the problem is resolved.

Therefore, Biztech noted there are several key things businesses need to do in their data centres to ensure they are prepared should the worst happen. It suggested clearly defining goals for BC and identifying where firms need to prioritise their efforts.

It also recommended professionals familiarise themselves with the range of solutions that are available to them and investigate which is the best one for them, as well as test them regularly.

George Ferguson, marketing manager of continuity services at HP, said: "Organisations should test their plans regularly - preferably twice a year - and subject them to rigorous change management standards. An untested plan is barely worth the paper it’s printed on."

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