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In doing research on a disaster recovery plan and trying to develop scenarios that must be accounted for, I realize that there are a number of different events that qualify as disasters. For example, all of these can be considered disasters

  • complete loss of building
  • building inaccessible due to fire or other issue
  • server hardware failure
  • network failure outside of the data center
  • network failure to a server
  • corruption in disks

I am wondering what other scenarios people plan for in their DR plans?

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Probably should be a community wiki. –  Evan Anderson Mar 16 '11 at 1:50

1 Answer 1

Here's a couple that are in DR plans that one or more of my Customers have in place:

  • Loss / unavailability of support staff (pandemic, etc)
  • Severe breach of information security (confidentiality, integrity, availability)
  • Long duration failure of "utility" services (power, WAN connectivity, etc)

We have a Customer affected by a major earthquake a few weeks ago. It was a real wake-up call to them that, had their building collapsed, they might have lost a large number of support staff w/ very specific knowledge in addition to infrastructure. As it was, their building was inaccessible for a period of days but still had power and WAN connectivity. Their DR plans didn't take into account inaccessibility of the building with continued operation of the servers inside and some quick decisions had to be made (whether or not fail-over to "hot site" and incur expense when the production servers are still operating properly).

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Loss of staff and their institutional knowledge is a very commonly-overlooked consideration in DR. When it's properly addressed, it finally provides a business case for spending IT person-hours on documentation and process formalization; it's the only way to route around the unavailability of a key staff member. –  Jeff Albert Mar 16 '11 at 18:41
    
Tx, loss of staff is a good one that I hadn't accounted for. –  Steve Jones Mar 17 '11 at 15:43

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