What your DR plan should protect


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Many DR plans aren't based on the data's value to the company. Here's how to protect your critical data more effectively while reducing costs.

A disaster recovery (DR) plan often provides too little protection for critical data and too much protection for less-important data.

Important data must be protected from loss or damage caused by human or system error, hacker attacks, viruses, hardware failure or site outages. Protection strategies generally involve keeping a separate copy of the data or a journal of changes; this allows users and applications to access the backup or recovery copy if the primary copy is lost or damaged. Ideally, every recovery copy would be up-to-date and instantly available. However, this level of protection is difficult and expensive to realize, and it's not needed for all applications and data types. Thus, a practical DR plan will set different recovery objectives for different types of data.

When framing the DR plan, maintain a clear distinction between your two objectives: preventing data loss and recovering applications for business resumption. These objectives will drive different protection requirements for various types of data.

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This was first published in June 2006

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