What is a Network Disaster Recovery Plan?

Data center managers develop network disaster recovery plans to help prepare for unplanned outages. The plan consists of a set of procedures designed to curtail any interruption of network services due to events, such as human error, equipment failures, natural disasters or other issues with your provider’s network infrastructure. It also provides the guidelines for IT staff to restore network services following a disaster.

Specifically, a network disaster plan will identify the resources necessary to perform recovery procedures, including equipment suppliers, document storage, off-site backups, key staff responsibilities. The goal is to ensure you have everything you need in place to respond to an outage. You want to create an infrastructure that can remain operational during an outage, or at a minimum, recover quickly.

An effective and comprehensive network disaster recovery plan will outline procedures based on the type of event. For example, the response will likely be different for a component failure than a hurricane. Your plan needs to highlight the unique responses for each specific event that can even potentially cause an outage.

Your plan must also address the impact of any downtime as a result of each event. What will happen if your organization loses voice connectivity even for short time periods? How will a loss of data affect your business?

All disaster recovery shares a similar goal – to keep things running smoothly without interruption in service. And, many of the activities involved in achieving the primary goal are the same – have clear processes for contacting key staff members during an emergency and regularly reviewing and updating the plan.

In addition, a network disaster recovery plan should include a checklist that covers four key areas, including:

  • General Network Considerations – It’s important to diagram your current network to identify the network devices, determine the criticality of these devices, and indicate how each device impacts the business.
  • Local Area Networks (LAN) – How does your plan address LAN infrastructure?
  • Wide Area Networks (WAN) – How does your plan address WAN considerations, such as bandwidth and quality of service (QoS).
  • Network Infrastructure Applications – Your plan should identify and address the critical network infrastructure applications on your network.

FairPoint Communications’ data centers provide strictly controlled environments with essential power, cooling, connectivity and physical security features. Organizations select FairPoint for a number of reasons, including the company’s superior network and access to high-speed services, local support, its broad portfolio of services, proven expertise and competitive pricing. For more information on data center colocation services, visit http://business.fairpoint.com/advanced-business-services/data-center-services/.

Chris is the former Vice President of Product Management at FairPoint Communications, a leading provider of advanced communications technology in northern New England and 14 other states across the U.S.