Data Recovery Strategy... What Is It?

Data Recovery Strategy sounds very impressive, but it's not all that involved. It's all about backing up data, storage of the backups, and then being able to utilize them to do a restore / recovery. Various categories of computer information require a data recovery strategy which may or may not be the same.

These categories include:

• Operating System Environment
• Application Support Software
• Customer Data
• Company Data

Data recovery strategies require plans for backup, off-site storage, and data recovery. You should consider two aspects of backup. One is a disaster recovery backup where backup copies are stored in a facility considerably removed from the primary computer center. The other is an operational recovery backup where backup copies are retained on the premises to accommodate many possible operational situations.

Creating and labeling daily, weekly, and/or monthly backups of pertinent information, based on how difficult it might be to recover / re-create, can save hours of heartache, at a minimum.

The time to create a backup copy can range from five minutes to many hours depending on the size of the system or set of information you desire to have backed up. Always identify the contents, the date of the backup, and the data classification.

Also, when you develop backup and recovery plans, you should consider the different processing requirements that may exist between normal processing and disaster situations.

Other factors to consider include:

• What to backup
• How often to backup
• When and where a backup is stored
• How to identify and retrieve a backup
• How long to keep a backup
• What to do with the backup at the end of the retention period
• What storage media to employ
• Who is responsible for execution
• Who is authorized for backup and recovery