The sun is shining here in the Seattle area today, and for some reason, it got me thinking about disaster recovery. I guess I'm weird that way, but then I have dreams about command lines from time to time.
Anyway, thinking about how to recover from a major disaster and getting that documented into a plan can be a career differentiator for you. If you already have a disaster recovery plan, periodically reviewing and updating it is a best practice, and there's no day like a sunny day to re-evaluate what to do when the fecal matter impacts the rotating blades.
The online TechNet Library is a great place to find disaster recovery information for many of our products like Exchange, SQL Server, and Windows Server.
More individualized resources can be had in the TechNet Forums, where there are dedicated forums and threads to disaster recovery and high availability for things like SQL Server, clustering, and Windows Server.
Don't see the answer to your question? Just ask a question in the forums, and you'll be able to tap into the wisdom and advice of other IT professionals, including MVPs and Microsoft employees.
Don't forget that disaster recovery also includes your people and physical plant.
The United States government, courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security, has a web site all about being prepared, with a special section just for businesses. While it's what you might expect from the federal government, there are some handy tips around awareness and communication that are worth a look.
Of course, for any disaster recovery plan, you need to start by assessing what your potential risks are, from environmental to political.
Get knowledgeable about your physical environment first, as you're more likely to have a natural disaster than armed insurgents attacking your data center. Here in the Seattle area, our largest risks are earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, high wind, heavy snow and drought, not necessarily in that order. You might be wondering why drought is on that list. Much of the energy generated in the Pacific Northwest is hydroelectric, and extended drought could cause a significant drop in generated power to run servers and HVAC systems.
But each area of the world has its own risks, so get familiar with yours. Running IT in Canberra is very, very different than running IT in Calcutta and is different again from Caracas to Cracow.
Vitamin D deficiency is now pulling me outside, where I'll be able to gaze at Mt. Rainier, and think about where I can source dust masks for when it finally decides to erupt again. ;-)
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