"It would be tempting to make all sorts of snide comments about a Dummies book that wants to take a serious look at disaster recovery of your IT area. But this is a Dummies title that you'll actually go back to a number of times if you're responsible for making sure your organization survives a disaster... IT Disaster Recovery Planning for Dummies by Peter Gregory.
It's actually the first book on the subject that I found interesting *and* readable to an average computer professional.Contents:Part 1 - Getting Started with Disaster Recovery: Understanding Disaster Recovery; Bootstrapping the DR Plan Effort; Developing and Using a Business Impact Analysis Part 2 - Building Technology Recovery Plans: Mapping Business Functions to Infrastructure; Planning User Recovery; Planning Facilities Protection and Recovery; Planning System and Network Recovery; Planning Data Recovery; Writing the Disaster Recovery Plans Part 3 - Managing Recovery Plans: Testing the Recovery Plans; Keeping DR Plans and Staff Current; Understanding the Role of Prevention; Planning for Various Disaster Scenarios Part 4 - The Part of Tens: Ten Disaster Recovery Planning Tools; Eleven Disaster Recovery Planning Web Sites; Ten Essentials for Disaster Planning Success; Ten Benefits of DR Planning Index.
I was prompted to read this when a colleague of mine recently went through a fire at their company location. For about a week, he lived through a nightmare of recovering data, setting up new workstations and servers, and fending off management who thought they had better ideas than everyone else on how to proceed. A book like this would have, if taken seriously and methodically, helped him avoid much of the confusion and headache that went with getting things back to a stable condition. Gregory presents a realistic view of what is needed to start preparing for a disaster that could cause your business to fold. He doesn't assume that you have millions of dollars and unlimited staff resources at hand. He advocates getting a basic plan in place along with reviews by the major players. Once this outline is put down, then you can continue to build on it, going from scenario plan walk-throughs to full-blown hotsite cutovers that test the ability to bring your systems back up using all the processes you have in place. He also doesn't just confine himself to the physical hardware/software elements. You may have your system recovered fine in terms of the main computer, but if your users have no place to work or system connectivity is missing, then all your plans are for naught. You will definitely get the full view of what needs to be taken into account for disaster planning, in a way that is approachable and doable without some expensive or complex methodology.I would say there's a good chance that if you're part of a large organization, you probably (I hope!) already have DR plans in place. But if you're a smaller organization, it's likely you've never given much thought to what would happen to your business if the building burned down or a hurricane flooded your office. Some time spent with this book might well be the difference between emerging from a disaster ready for business or ready to file chapter 7."
Eric again, from what I've read about readiness for disasters--we are generally in poor shape. Most companies start with IT, but from my own experience in talking to people most folks are way behind the power curve in doing much. As highlighted above, if you fall into that category this might be a good template to follow for getting started--since we are all dummies on something.