|1. When you build the systems|
|Define a standard hardware platform.
||You want to be able to restore data quickly, which means not having to figure out which boot disks, network drivers and tape software you need.|
|Procure appropriate disaster-proof storage for your backups.
||When your building has burned down and then been flooded by the fire service, you'd like the backups to have survived.|
|Consider the impact of backup traffic on the network and implement a BAN (Backup Area Network) if necessary.
||You need to be sure that emergency restorations don't have excessive performance impact on the rest of the business.|
|Ensure free supply of replacement equipment or parts, or keep spares in a suitable offsite location.
||To restore a server that's broken, you first need the hardware to restore to.|
|Document the restoration processes and train the staff.
||You need to be sure that everyone who might need to do a restore knows how to, or has access to usable, comprehensive instructions.|
|Define a tape rotation process that gives the best compromise of offsite security against accessibility. Document this process in order that the location of a tape is quick to look up.
||Not all tapes should be stored next to the server, in case of disaster, but if you take them offsite they should be suitably accessible in a rush.|
|Implement full backups wherever capacity and time permit. If you use incremental backups, back up changes since the last full backup, not since the last incremental.
||This restricts the restoration process to a maximum of two tape sets, not an arbitrary number depending on the day of the week.|
|Ensure all information is available but secure. For example, store passwords in the MD's safe, make it known that's where they are and define who is allowed to have them and under what circumstances.
||If you're the only one who knows the system passwords, you need to think what happens if you’re away when disaster strikes.|
|Turn on the verification option if the backup cycle has the time to spare.
||You don't need duff data on the tape when you come to restore from it.|
|Ensure that offsite versions of all restoration media, software and instructions are easily available.
||If the building burns down, you can do without the only server boot CD going up with it.|
|Arrange for emergency equipment and/or temporary premises to be available, if business requirements so dictate.
||If the loss of business due to downtime is significant, you can mitigate this by employing a third party to park a truck full of suitable kit in your car park.|