The best way to prepare for the unplannable is to educate yourself and practice high-stress things.
Volunteer to help out in real disasters, like Haiti. After you've had to deal with that kind of pressure, you'll be better able to remain calm, cool and collected while dealing with something as trivial as a crashed server. If the biggest emergency you've ever dealt with is a pop quiz in school, a crashed server seems big and intimidating. If the biggest emergency you've dealt with involves stopping an arterial bleed, the server issue isn't intimidating any more.
No matter how much you've planned or prepared, the ability to deal with stress and pressure will make a gigantic difference.
You also, of course, need to know what you're doing. Don't just memorize a few commands, or have a library of scripts that you don't understand but know how to plug values into the variables. Understand how the systems work. Know the theory. And then practice using it. You should do timed tests for how long it takes you to get a server back up and running after a system crash. Turn a server off, then use a stopwatch to time from pressing the start button to having it fully operational with point-in-time restores done. Do that five times. If the fifth isn't faster than the first, figure out what you could do to make it faster, and do it another five times.
Preparation for disaster isn't just about making sure the servers and databases are prepared. It's also, and perhaps most importantly, about making sure YOU are prepared.
- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
Property of The Thread
"Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon