Disaster Preparedness for IT: Information Critical for Recovery

There are many facets to DR planning for your IT infrastructure.  While planning tends to focus on the bigger ticket items like site, equipment, and data replication or restoration, some tasks can be done at little to no cost.  Smaller items around information capture and lists explored in this blog are often forgotten.  This process should be done for all environments as soon as possible and could make a big difference in the time it takes to recover from a disaster. 

The information below should also be updated on a regular basis.  Additionally, it should be stored offline at a secure location outside of the footprint of local natural disasters and out of reach of malicious tampering yet still quickly retrievable. 

Data that may be needed for disaster recovery 

The list below indicates information about the environment that should be collected and stored offsite.  This helps in the case where the environment needs to be stood up while tapes are retrieved or replicated data is brought online: 

  • Server names, IPs, OS and application versions, drive sizes, share names, database names.  For critical servers this is a must; having an inventory of all servers would be much better. 
  • List of all DID phone numbers, especially anything that may need to be forwarded immediately to avoid an interruption in business. 
  • ISOs or installs and licenses for all server operating systems and software.  License files or keys are faster than website lookups and having ISOs on hand is faster than downloading in an emergency.  Any complicated application installations should have their documentation as well. 
  • A network diagram and lists of IP addresses, VLANs, and DHCP scopes that may need to be brought up or re-routed. 

Information that needs to be accessible offsite 

Even if the information below is kept onsite, it needs to also be available offsite to make sure it’s accessible to the team bringing up the DR environment: 

  • External DNS contact and login information, a list of records for MX, Web, VPN, TXT, remote access that will need to be changed or redirected 
  • ISP information, contact numbers, circuit IDs, account numbers 
  • Web hosting information (will a notice need to go up on the web site?) 
  • Phone provider contact and account information 

Need assistance with any of the documentation?  Peters & Associates has a project planning team that will be glad to assist. 

Have you had a 3rd party backup audit run?  Do you know what you are backing up and what you are missing? 

Email info@peters.com. We are happy to help!