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Disaster Recovery


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In today's world, businesses are beginning to demand more from their information systems. At the same time, the outer limit of technology is being stretched to its limit to meet this demand. This in turn puts a greater responsibility on the service Organisation, with the kind of daunting challenge that it faces. A standard reactive service does not solve the situation with solutions that it can present. To handle the situation, a more pro-active approach should be adopted to run mission critical operation in today's heterogeneous client/server networks.

If enterprise applications are not planned, taking into consideration all aspects of data loss, this can cripple the enterprise all together. A system downtime can cost the enterprise tens of thousands of dollars per minute, and considering the days it takes for recovery, the loss could be well imagined. Selecting, implementing and maintaining a data disaster recovery infrastructure is a challenging job. If you find that it is making you taking chances, there are such services available, who are professionally experienced, equipped with high availability technology and proven best practices in such disaster management.

To understand a recovery process, you should first understand your current state, find out ways mitigating the risks, and last of all make a thorough plan of recovery. You should use available tools to audit your infrastructure risks and identify the danger in the process, prioritising the system restorations. You shall need to make sure that you have with you the experience in the team, looking after the aspect of data loss and disaster recovery and building up test procedures for various disaster scenarios. The strategy of data or disaster recovery should be where all such disasters are withstood with a well chalked out plan. Such recovery operations are generally transferred to a remote service centre or a facility to have the enterprise back on the rail, within the recovery time objective and the objective targets.

For quite some years, professionals in Information and Technology took disaster recovery to be the simple data recovery process of data files in case of a computer or disk failure. Things are different today, with increasing complexity in data handling and management, data losses are termed as disasters to any enterprise functioning. Today's concept demands the constant availability of the complex data and the notion of the data being made available within a short period of time if there should be that unfortunate data loss or disaster.

Disaster is not just a serious loss of data, a dead hard drive or a power loss, through human error or through malicious software. Instead, a disaster could mean complete loss of communication through out the network, including serious data losses, through-out the enterprise. To handle such situations disaster recovery mandates are necessary that insist on instant recovery.

The impact on user is an important factor when the implementation of high reliability disaster recovery system is being considered and implemented. In the event of the initiation of a recovery process, the user should continue to be connected to data, as the disaster recovery process takes over. The process of disaster recovery should be totally transparent to the user. This is mostly with the instance, when the source and the location of the data changes take place, when the data disaster recovery process is in process. Therefore, user functions should go on uninterrupted and such should be for both, the internal and external users, for example, the users who are accessing the web-servers or your VPN servers. The user function should be a continued process, without having to shut down and restart the system.

There are some basic requirements needed to be considered, while you are planning and designing data recovery procedures for your site. The general guidelines of these requirements include the following:

You need to make sure that the sites have top level of support from the hardware and software vendors.

For any mission critical applications, it is mandatory to use uninterrupted power supply.

You need to set up a system, more appropriately a monitoring tool to proactively detect problems. Your monitoring tool should be capable of event monitoring and problem reporting, may be by sending a message to the email inbox of your DBA. Additionally, the tool needs to monitor space usage and other crucial aspects of data storage in a proactive manner.

Internet connectivity to your site is a necessity, for, in case of problems your hardware, software vendors or any disaster recovery service agency can remotely access your site and take necessary actions to monitor, diagnose and repair the fault.

Each of your production sites should have the right hardware protection system. This may include a hard disk mirroring device, implementation of a back-up and recovery plan and stocking of enough spare parts to service your hardware when necessary. RAID (Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks) may be one way to make continuous availability of your data, building up the capability of fault tolerance implementation. However, the reliability of this fault tolerance and improvement of data reliability will depend upon the RAID level used.

Your production site must be kept in such an environment which is hazard free, and an environmental audit is done from time to time.

If you have very large database (VLDB), you should preferably maintain a test bed and part of the data should be held in the test bed system. This would be required when you are performing on-site testing and migration planning for future database expansions.

Operation logs are ideal for such sites, where any kind of physical, design, operational, environmental or scheduled task is logged each time they are performed.

Storage business practices, leading to well formulated disaster recovery planning, is gained from enterprise client implementation and operations. Data recovery services bridge the gap between enterprises having mission critical applications and the experience required for managing the necessity of data recovery and disaster management processes. It has to be understood, that more importantly, the process and people behind that process count more than the technology, and disaster recovery service agencies help their clients in identifying the areas of operational improvements, there-by aligning the necessary technology with the requirement of the clients.

About the Author

I am a post graduate in Computer Science and have been working as the profit center head of an international organisation. I look after 15 to 18 Oracle database projects in Europe.

As a hobby I have been writing for the last 10+ years on various subject matters. I have expertise in project report preparations, preparations of technical tutoring documents, presentation preparations, writing of technical articles, technical documentations abstracts of various books, copy writing, reviews, articles, proof reading, news papers, magazines, presentations, including SEO articles, etc., and also contributed in writing press releases and various profiles. I have been writing for over 10 years. I have good experience in writing papers, including transcriptions on various topics with extensive research on the subject. I have also participated as a freelancer in online sales and marketing. All my works are quality originals. I am generally involved with few but large continued assignments in writing technical & non-technical articles.

Prabir Sen, M.Sc Engg (London)

Over 20+ years in Oracle Applications with a large IT organisation in UK. Hobby - Writing Articles

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-03-28 19:32:12 in Computer Articles

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