From time to time I have had discussions about high availability (HA), disaster recovery (DR), and continuity of operations programs (COOP). Sometimes we dive deep into the topic without communicating several key high level messages that will guide the conversation forward.
To what degree do we implement a DR program
Many organizations have made the determination that they do not need any protection at all. They have evaluated the trade off between having some type of protection and not. Most organizations do not provide for a full DR. They have determined that not all of their organizational processes require DR. They typically have set a "Service Level Agreement" (SLA) that provides for their environment's services to be available at a specific time. They have determined what services are most critical and set a time plan to restore those services. Non critical services would follow as time permitted and the length of time a specific disaster lasts.
Levels of Disaster Recover
Below is a chart that details the specifics and trade off of the different levels of a disaster recover plan. This shows how relative costs and complexity increases as the time to restore operations decreases.
Getting the correct timing is critical for service availability.
Backup, recovery, high availability, disaster recovery, and a solid COOP are all very important for the protection and security of your data. It safeguards your organization's data from corruption, hardware failures, and data failures. The protection of your environment is one of the most important aspects of being a successful IT professional.
There are many resources available to assist you. Several have been listed below.