12.3         Good Practices: Disaster Recovery


Objectives: the previous SOP presented a procedure for handling the recovery from disaster by preparing alternative systems. This SOP supplements the previous SOP by presenting good practices to be followed when handling such situations.


The following Good Practices are suggested as a support to the Disaster Recovery Procedures of the previous SOP


1.       Outsourcing: the major servers needed as Recovery Systems may not always be available within the Ministry or Agency. Indeed, in some cases, it has been known to resort to such systems outside the country. Therefore, any outsourcing to be made to have access to such systems must be submitted to rigorous qualification. Furthermore, it is critical to regularly test the alternate site to ensure that the Recovery System is ready for operation.


2.       Testing: as in the case of Backup, Disaster Recovery is a kind of a “Restore” operation. Therefore, it is crucial to test the Recovery on a regular basis by simulating a disaster.


3.       Insurance: not all problems generated by the Disaster can be resolved by a Disaster Recovery Procedure. A lot of cost and effort is required to setup of a Recovery System:


The increase in backup frequency

Repeat work that is lost during Emergency and Recovery

Replacement of equipment

Additional running costs such as transportation, relocation, data entry, etc.

Outsourcing of servers, sites, etc.


It is recommended that such activities be insured so that the Ministry or Agency can recover parts of its losses.


4.       Training drills: an emergency is sure to have people lose their heads. It is therefore crucial in semi-critical and critical situations to have training drills on Emergency and Recovery Procedures.


5.       Risk Analysis: much of the cost and time loss of the Disaster Recovery can be avoided by a rigorous Risk Analysis of such situations. Ensure that Disasters are included in the Risk Events to be analyzed in the Ministry or Agency.