Avoiding Back-Up Let-Downs-The Dangers of Overlooking the Obvious

Management Services, December 1998 | Go to article overview

Avoiding Back-Up Let-Downs-The Dangers of Overlooking the Obvious


Disaster Recovery is all about planning - but even the best plan is useless if it is not properly tested. For proof, look no further than this simple statistic: over 50 percent of tests on DR contingency plans fail first time, according to IT service provider specialists Barron McCann.

Bill Osborne, disaster recovery manager at Barron McCann, explains, "The fact that 50 percent of the plans that we initially test fail shows just how important testing is. We also find that the major cause of failure is a back up tape problem. The reasons for this are often easily overlooked, yet can be disastrous."

Providing individual solutions to individual problems with their `Build-toMatch' approach to disaster recovery, Barron McCann have come across many instances where the simplest of mistakes can cause potential disasters. For example, on submitting back up tapes to Barron McCann for testing, one organisation found its tapes were almost blank with only a small amount of data at the beginning.

Barron McCann found the mistake had occurred when the back up procedure automatically rewound the tape at the end of each back up session. As a result, the procedure was over writing the previous file leaving only the last file instead of a continuous record of all backed up files.

Testing back up tapes on a matching, but completely fresh machine, is also an excellent way to uncover simple human error. One organisation found that their back up tapes failed to run at all. …

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