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Choosing a Disaster Recovery Site and Service


It's safe to say that most modern businesses are highly dependent on the technology that facilitates their processes. In most cases, losing or accidentally erasing data can be extremely detrimental to a company's operations. In some cases, business will come to a complete standstill if data is lost. For this reason, data recovery strategies have become a necessity. Some businesses choose to create a disaster recovery site in-house. With this strategy, IT executives can choose to outsource disaster recovery or to train in-house staff to perform it. Case studies have shown that outsourced recovery service (whether with an in-house site or an off-site facility) is less likely to fail than outsourced disaster recovery service.

Your Company's Needs
There are several different factors to take into consideration when evaluating potential disaster recovery vendors. First, an introspective approach should be taken. Companies seeking disaster recovery services should review their business functions and their reliance on technology and data. This step will help define the organization's needs, especially in terms of timing and opportunity cost. In other words, a company must determine how much downtime they can afford and how much that downtime will cost. Since larger amounts will be paid to an outsourced provider for faster recovery, you must weigh the cost of downtime in relation to the cost of more expedient recovery.

Your Vendor's Capabilities
Another consideration for IT executives considering disaster recovery options is the breadth and depth of the services provided by any given vendor. Companies must determine whether they need a fuller range of services, such as data center space or workspace for employees. Businesses must also evaluate vendors' technical strengths in relation to the specific functions and processes that their business operations rely on. In speaking with representatives of a disaster recovery service provider, principles must feel confident that the vendor not only understands their business' needs, but that the vendor has the resources necessary to support the customer's core technologies.

Data Center Location & Layout
When choosing a data recovery site, a company must consider the location of the data center carefully. Choosing a site that is too close to it's own data center can mean that the data recovery site is also affected by whatever storm or power outage is causing problems. A site that is too distant can be difficult to get to in a timely way (or it may take more time for a representative from the data recovery service to arrive at your location). Layout of the data center is also important. Consider where the equipment is located in relation to windows, doors, and possible sources of moisture or heat. The best-case scenario is a hardened data center with excellent security, backup power, and communication links.

Experience and Continuity
When choosing any type of vendor, experience and general customer satisfaction must be taken into account. How long has the data recovery service provider been providing such services? How would present and past customers who have purchased this service from them rate the service? Is the company financially stable enough to have the resources necessary to support every type of emergency? What successes and failures has the service provider been through over the past few years?

Choosing a data recovery service and site is not to be taken lightly. In the event of an emergency that causes data loss, your company needs the peace of mind that business functions and processes can be restored quickly and fully. In order to achieve that peace of mind, IT managers need to have complete confidence in their disaster recovery plan. Choosing the right provider and facility can provide that confidence.

 


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