Most enterprises feel they have all the bases covered with these products and services. However, the speed of business restoration is impeded by inadequate IT infrastructure documentation. Detailed knowledge of server, database, and router configurations is essential to re-establishing a working framework in which to restore corporate data and services.
The IT disaster recovery plan has, until recently, been viewed as a static document that sits in a three-ring binder on every IT mid-level manager’s shelf, doing little more than provide comfort that the IT department is ready to do its part to ensure business continuity. Collecting this information from diverse platforms and "massaging" it into meaningful information (if that is attempted) takes a tremendous number of hours and most IT departments do not devote resources to keep the information current.
As a result, all configuration data collected in these documents rapidly becomes out of date due to the one constant in the IT world: change.
Until recently, most disaster recovery plans assumed the existing IT staff would be involved in the restoration process.
For a fire in a corporate data center, this might be true. However, in a natural disaster such as a tornado or flood where the area surrounding a data center may also be affected, IT staff will initially be more concerned with their families and homes than with their work responsibilities. Sadly, September 11th taught us that the unthinkable could occur. Even if IT staff is available to assist recovery, the multitude of IT platforms and the large number of changes that occur on a daily basis limit their effectiveness to support a backup data center’s restoration efforts.
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