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Disaster Recovery - An Afterthought?


Disaster Recovery - An Afterthought?

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Chris Harshman
Chris Harshman
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Steve Jones - Editor (6/30/2009)
A disaster encompasses many things, not just losing a data center. A disaster can be someone deleting a single table (or even row), coffee spilled on a server...

All I was trying to say is those items are not Disaster Recovery, but basic recovery. I agree again with those that say if you don't have basic recovery and failover than planning for Disaster Recovery is pretty futile, but in addition we shouldn't talk about basic faults as being disasters. The more meanings that people give to this specific concept, then people who don't already understand it will be less able to, or get the wrong idea.

It's like trying to understand the concept of "cloud computing". It seems every vendor and every article seems to have a different take on what that means. I was just trying to clarify what the long held understanding of Disaster Recovery is for those who might be confused reading these forums.
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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I'm not sure I agree they're basic recovery. To me basic recovery is just restoring a database. The "why" gets into when it's a disaster.

Your point is well taken, that having different meanings confuses the issue. Disasters are based on your experience. A deleted table at Amazon or Dell likely is a disaster since every minute of downtime is thousands of hard dollars. At another company, it might be an inconvenience.

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Chris,
I just hope people don't get scared to start small, if you hit them with "armagedon" Hehe

Don't present a dam breakage scenario for those that need to seal up a pipe.
It may just be to overwelming !

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Whether you call it disaster recovery or basic recovery doesn't matter. What matters is that you have it in place. You need to make sure that backups is in place and tested so that you will not sit with a backup that is corrupt or does not work when disaster strikes. Like Steve says, does not matter whether your data centre was blown away or whether a table or data was deleted, you still need a recovery plan.BlushSick

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I have to agree that the concept of disaster recovery should include the entire system infrastructure, including total site loss. But as mentioned earlier, if you don’t even have valid backups for the database, recovery may be impossible.

And so Steve’s title is accurate for a large part of the internet focused, and micro ~ PC based systems. Disaster Recovery is quite often an afterthought.

Mainframe shops almost always have DR plans that are tested. PC based shops rarely have any DR plans, and often don’t even test the database backups. Hardware fails. So plan accordingly. I once was in a meeting with an overly confident JD Edwards consultant going on how the system was solid: “…it is a 400.” (reference to an IBM A/S 400, normally a really solid piece of hardware. ) Less than a week later, the A/S 400 had a hardware failure, and JD Edwards was offline for about 4 days. So much for that consultant's bravado!

The more you are prepared, the less you need it.
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