The Essentials Series: Taking a Fresh Look at Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

by Don Jones


For the longest time, organizations' approach to disaster recovery was simple: back up as much as possible, as often as possible, and hope that you never need the backups. In the past few years, businesses have become a bit more proactive and demanding. Instead of asking, "How will we recover from this disaster?" they're asking "How can we keep our business running through the disaster?" Commonly referred to as business continuity, this desire forces us to take a fresh look at how we keep our systems up and running. Although the "fail and recover" approach will always be part of our layered business protections, it can't always be the first layer because in order to use a backup, something first has to fail-which isn't always an acceptable option. In this brief, entitled Taking a Fresh Look at Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, author and IT expert Don Jones expands upon the need to discard the one-size-fits-all approach of "just back it up," and start thinking about business continuity approaches that are tailored to specific services within the organization.

Topics include:

  • Email Continuity
  • Server Clusters
  • Application Continuity
  • Rapid Restore
  • Virtualization and Off-Site Recovery
  • Emergency Management
  • Business Continuity for the Modern Age


Taking a Fresh Look at Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Email Continuity

Email is perhaps one of the most mission-critical applications within any organization. Our ability to communicate not only runs our business but also fosters growth. The near-instant communication offered by email can also be a key tool during a disaster or crisis because email enables us to coordinate activities, share priorities, and react more dynamically to a changing situation.

Many organizations are looking to outsource their email services to not only save money but also better ensure the availability of email through any kind of circumstance. Ensuring the availability of email as well as email-connected devices (such as Blackberry devices) and distributed users is crucial.

This is not a statement that "cloud computing" is the way to go for email. For some companies, cloud-based email services are definitely beneficial. But many companies have strict data management and security needs around email-often related to regulatory or industry requirements-that can't always be met by popular "email as a service" providers.

Outsourced email can also simply mean having your email infrastructure live elsewhere and be managed by someone else in a more highly-available, fault-tolerant fashion than you can provide on your own.