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How to decide which disaster recovery strategy is right for customers?

How should a VAR determine which disaster recovery strategy is appropriate for their customer's data center or servers?

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Disaster recovery strategies protect organizations from catastrophic events that cause an outage in one location and require the company to restore essential business processes in another location. Two relatively recent examples are 9-11 and the 2003 power failure that affected New York City.

Choosing an appropriate disaster recovery strategy for customers is difficult. Ask your customers the following two questions:

What needs to be protected? The disaster recovery strategy must protect essential business functions (like human resources) and profit centers. Frequently, business decisions have to be made on which profit centers to protect from disaster, and which ones can tolerate a lower degree of protection.

How much downtime is tolerable – none, one second, one hour, one day?

An appropriate disaster recovery strategy is based on the answer to these questions. The choice involves a technology or series of technologies and a team that will duplicate all processes and their dependencies in the disaster recovery site. The disaster recovery strategy must also include end-to-end tests. Otherwise, in the words of SQL Server MVP Geoff Hiten, you only have a disaster recovery hope.

VARs can help their customers choose the most appropriate technology for their disaster recovery strategy and help with planning and implementing it.

This was first published in November 2007

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