Friday, November 20, 2009

What Is Your Disaster Recovery Plan If Your Legacy Communications And Network Platforms Were To Fail?

This is a question that comes up frequently among users of legacy and secondary market end-users. I find that it is crucial that the end-users receive the necessary technical support and warranties to keep their network up and running at all times. If there ever is downtime, they should have a hardware provider that can overnight new equipment so as to minimize inefficiencies.

At some point in time your legacy systems will no longer be supported and a failure will severely impact your operation.

The lack of support could be technical, the company no longer manufactures the product and parts are harder to find or no longer available, or the lack of support could be no people with the skills necessary to maintain the equipment.

That is one reason that you need to ensure that your plan is tested on a regular basis. These support issues should become evident during the test. If you are using a third party recovery service provider, they may tell you that they no longer support the legacy system. They may make suggestions on what they can do to accommodate your systems, but you may find that the cost is too high. It may actually be better to do an upgrade.

You also need to make sure that any contract that you sign with a recovery service provider will let you upgrade at little or no cost to the contract price. You also need to include a clause that will let you know when the recovery service provider will withdraw support so that you can plan your response.

BCP is not a project, so you need to make sure that the plan is reviewed and tested regularly so that problems can be identified and corrected before an emergency or disaster event occurs.

A disaster recovery plan should include all key componets necessary to run an enterprise. From a network and communications point of view this may include planning for redundancy not only in the Local Area Network but with the carriers. I had a WAN at one client where I had automatic roll over should the main gateway fail at any point. Many enterprise have backup plans with secondary carriers and can re-point 800 numbers within minutes.

DRP planning is different for all enterprises .... but to be effective needs managment support from the top. I suggest you read the following article as a general overiew on disaster recovery.

Disaster Recovery Planning

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