Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan
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Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan

With Monsoon season here in Arizona approaching, it’s a great time to reassess your current Network Disaster Recovery Plan and what changes might need to be made to prepare.

What?  You don’t really have a DRP or it isn’t written down?  Maybe it’s just guidelines, or something you completed on the fly for an audit of your school or district ?

Disasters come in all shapes, sizes and flavors.  From complete and total destruction of all data and network equipment to relatively small events that have a narrow impact on a particular dataset, closet, or area.  Having a dynamic Disaster Recovery Plan handy could mean the difference between getting back up and running efficiently and well, frankly, your job.  Here are 5 tips for creating a DRP for your educational facility.  For more detailed information, templates, guidelines, national policies, and more be sure to visit

1:  Grab a Template.

I’ve put together a basic template for a disaster recovery plan that is in-line with most business and school network expectations.  Go through the template, answer the questions, and get help with the areas as indicated.  A DRP involves many people, not just the tech admin or tech department.  You’ll need input from facilities, admin, and whoever your service provider might be in order to put it together.

2:  Make a list of deficiencies.

You probably won’t have solutions for everything on the template.  On the Canyon Horizon website I listed many vendors and areas that can lend assistance depending on the type of Disaster you might be experiencing.  Be thorough about investigating each one, test and lab solutions, and discover what best works for your network or situation.  It’s important that you know who to contact for each.

3:  Test your scenarios

When disaster strikes you don’t want to wonder where the DRP is, who to call next on the phone tree, and what steps to take.  Test your scenarios at least once a month.  I know this might seem tedious but go to your calendar, right now, and set a date to run a test disaster and perform the steps necessary.  Most audits will want verified test results, so make sure you understand all the steps necessary, who to contact, and run mock drills.

4: Store your plan.

While having your DRP online is a great idea, what happens if there’s no access to the internet?  Be sure to have multiple redundant physical as well as virtual copies in a variety of places as listed in the template. Remember time is your enemy when it comes to a disaster and having the DRP handy will mean the difference between success and failure.

5:  Communicate your plan.

When you have meetings with other individual be sure to highlight the fact you have a disaster recovery plan for emergency situations.  Send out an email highlighting the steps you, the tech department, and others will take to ensure the network is back up and running as quickly as possible.  Developing a DRP is one of the most proactive measures a tech department can take so let people know !  It will go a long way toward developing your validity and will gain trust in you and your department.

Recovering from a Disaster isn’t fun, but you can mitigate damage by having a well-planned process-documented procedure in place.

Canyon Horizon can help!  Visit Our Disaster Recovery Page!


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