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IT Disaster Recovery Management

Published on February 23, 2022

We don't often think of the worst-case scenario, but inevitably it is bound to actually happen to some businesses. All businesses have some sort of disaster recovery plan and can plan for a disaster that affects many different aspects of their operations.

This may include fire drills, earthquake preparedness, or contingency plans for floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. But what about IT disaster recovery planning? What does this entail?

IT disaster recovery management includes planning for damage like:

  • Equipment
  • Data loss due to damage
  • Data loss due to human error

Disasters that disaster recovery services should plan for include:

  • Building disaster
  • Campus disaster
  • National disaster
  • Multinational disaster
  • Citiwide disaster
  • Datacenter disaster
  • Local natural disaster

The most important aspect of IT Disaster Recover Management is planning and developing the right disaster recovery strategy for when calamity strikes. Always be prepared, and recovery will go smoothly and be organized, saving you money and time.

IT Disaster Recovery Management might sound like "preparing for the big one" - an unknown event that isn't likely to happen but in today's world of growing cyber-attacks and natural disasters that might not be as true anymore. These things do happen, and they happen to the best.

A scary statistic from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (the natural disaster experts) is this: 90% of small businesses that are unable to recover within 5 days will shutter completely within a year.

The reason is that disruptions put your hard work of building a brand and earning trust to ruin. A big part of this is that any complex data recovery that deals with lost data and hiring outside experts costs money, and replacing hardware is also very costly - and takes time.

What Causes IT Disasters?

Aside from the least likely scenarios that cause IT disasters and data loss to occur, like hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, or tsunamis there are many more mundane reasons that can cause an IT data loss disaster.

Hardware failure

A hardware failure can happen at any time, for many different reasons. This is when your physical drives become damaged, or the damage happens at your storage facility, or a third-party facility. The causes can be

  • Humidity
  • Shock
  • Dirt
  • Loss of power
  • Operating system crash
  • Overload

Even with large servers, one condition may lead to another and recovery might take a while. Meanwhile, your customers are simply going somewhere else and looking for other solutions.


Viruses might be caused by a lot of things - not necessarily going to unsavory websites. They can be smuggled in emails - they stall your system and piggyback on legitimate applications, damaging your whole system. This is why IT disaster planning for virus damage is crucial in your management plan.


Hackers are malicious and they are active after your data - while some of them are in it to simply wreak havoc, most of them are there for the money. Selling personal data is a big business, and your plan has to include protecting the sensitive data of your employees and your clients. Once this cat is out of the bag it's almost impossible to recover from. Make a plan to update your passwords and run tests regularly and to prevent it altogether.

Human error

Unfortunately, human error is one of the biggest threats when it comes to data loss. As part of your recovery point objective, and recovery time objective planning. Humans are creative, and the causes of human error data loss are probably endless - this is why these objectives will become an important guide to managing data loss, however it happens.

Planning a Disaster Recovery Solution

When you want to determine your IT disaster recovery plan strategy, you should think of a few issues, like:

  • Your budget
  • Insurance coverage
  • What type of human resources you have on hand
  • Your facilities
  • Technology involved
  • Suppliers
  • Data
  • Compliance needs

All aspects of your IT Disaster Recovery Management plan have to be approved and planned by your management teams in order to make it go smoothly and to take your management team's needs into account. They will help you to understand exactly what they need in order to provide business continuity and help you meet your recovery time objective. Management plans must include contingencies for the "before" and "after" disaster strikes scenarios.

Disaster recovery management cannot only concentrate on disaster recovery procedures but on preparedness and pre-planning as well.

Types of IT Disaster Recovery Management Planning

There are a number of IT Disaster Recovery types, and here are the most common ones:

Cloud disaster recovery

Cloud DR management means planning and executing backup from virtual servers. The management plan has to include data security, and the person responsible must know the location of virtual servers, what data is stored there, and how it can be accessed quickly and safely. It also means performing regular backups and checking the backup process to make sure it's secure and functioning. This means performing regular tests.

This can also be known as cloud DR or cloud DRP - it's one of the most common disaster recovery plans to be used to provide business continuity, as it is used in cases of many failures.

Network disaster recovery

This procedure can be simple or very intricate- depending on the complexity of your network. As networks are updated and changed over time, so must your disaster recovery plan strategies for your network. Often, a disaster recovery team will keep track of the step-by-step procedures in the recovery process, keep testing them regularly, and updating them as any changes will inevitably arise. Every Network disaster recovery management plan is developed on an individual basis, custom to the particular network.

Datacenter recovery

This requires the management of physical infrastructure - data center facilities. When talking about disaster management, we have to keep in mind that you have to analyze risks like location (is your location on a flood plain or in an earthquake-prone area?), the power grid, and security and plan according to possible worst-case scenarios.

Setting a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and a Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

An RPO will set the perfect amount of time that can pass during a disaster before data loss becomes intolerable - for example, data restored from backup can't be older than 10 hours.

An RPO sets a maximum allowed time that you have to get back to operating level.

These are goals that your test runs should strive to achieve for optimal IT Disaster Recovery Management.

To ensure business continuity, these management plans have to be carefully reviewed and tested during normal operations, so they will be familiar to the team during an actual disaster. No one wants to practice during a real emergency!