Key elements of a disaster preparation plan (DPP)

The DPP you put in place with your Backup Exec system should be tailored to your network environment.

While environments vary in different organizations, consider the following elements when creating a comprehensive DPP.

Table: Key elements of a DPP



Hardware protection

The hardware devices on your network (CPUs, drives, video) are susceptible to damage from many disaster situations. Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), surge protectors, and security monitoring devices are the equipment most often used today to protect hardware. If you do not already have these items in place, you should consider installing them. The initial investment could be justified many times over in the event of a disaster.

The ability to maintain business operations during a disaster period

Make sure that proper precautions are taken by everyone to implement plans for network interruptions. For example, the phones in the sales department won't stop ringing because the server is down, so orders may have to be handwritten until the server is up again. Each department should work out strategies for such occurrences. If the proper precautions are taken, the server can be rebuilt quickly and operations can still continue.

A sound backup strategy.

A well-designed backup strategy that includes a strong media rotation scheme plays a key role in quickly restoring your file server.

Off-site storage of backups.

It is imperative that backed up data be moved off-site regularly. This ensures that if something happens to your facility, all of your backups will not be destroyed. Depending on the importance of your data, you may choose to use several off-site storage facilities. There are companies that provide off-site storage services that pick up and deliver tapes when they are to be rotated.

Effective DPP management

The last element - and possibly the most important - is proper management of your DPP strategy. A person or group of people should be charged with constantly supervising your organization's disaster preparation efforts. Someone should install and maintain hardware protection devices, make sure all departments have a plan if the server goes down temporarily, and make sure that backups are made and rotated off-site regularly. Also, it is a good idea to document your Disaster Preparation Plan for reference purposes.

Backup Exec plays a major role in your DPP by offering an easy, reliable way of backing up and restoring your files. The rest of this chapter describes how to take some precautionary measures to make restoration as straightforward as possible in the event of a disaster.

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Selecting data to back up