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Lesson one: Data backup and disaster recovery planning

Planning is essential to the success of any backup and disaster recovery plan. How will your SMB react to potential catastrophes?

Planning is essential to the success of any backup and disaster recovery plan. How will your small or medium-sized business react to potential catastrophes? What are your goals? Do you need to be concerned with hurricanes, tornados or fire? Should you outsource your backup processes? These questions just scratch the surface of what you need to know ahead of time in order to remain safe in the face of a disaster.

DR planning begins with commitment
Disaster recovery and business continuity plans can help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face issues as dire as a hurricane or as common as a downed power line. Learn more from those who've been there.

Disaster recovery: Plan or bust
If you think your SMB can't afford or can't manage a comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) plan, think again. DR planning for companies of all sizes is achievable in just a few steps.

Data Backup and Disaster Recovery School for SMBs
Lesson two: Policies and management
Lesson three: Making the business case
Lesson four: Business continuity
Final exam

Disaster recovery plans: Points to consider
A comprehensive disaster recovery plan is critical to surviving a crisis, especially in an SMB environment. But evaluating your DR needs is no small task.

Disaster recovery checklist: Networks
This checklist, broken down into topical areas -- network considerations, LAN, WAN and infrastructure applications -- can help you focus your disaster recovery planning effort.

IT consultant discusses virtualization for disaster recovery
Virtualization is useful for more than server consolidation, says an IT expert. In this Q&A, we discover the benefits of using virtualization as part of a disaster recovery plan.

SMBs reject tape for online backup
SMBs looking for fewer server backup headaches are turning to remote services instead of tape.

Data storage options for SMBs
What are your data storage backup goals? Knowing the answer to this question will save you time and money -- but first, you have to determine an answer.

Data storage for growing SMBs
Is tape-based backup the best option for quickly growing SMBs? One expert weighs in.

Continuous data protection: Check IT List
Continuous data protection might cost more in the short term, but the benefits will outweigh the cost for small and medium-sized businesses in the long run.

Server-free, LAN-free or SAN-free backup: Which one do you need?
Learn whether server-free backup, LAN-free backup or SAN-free backup is best for your environment.

Best Practices Checklist: Exchange Server disaster recovery planning
Learn about some tried and true best practices that you need to consider when creating a Microsoft Exchange disaster recovery plan.

>> Continue on to Lesson two: Policies/management

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We're paranoid here. Fortunately.

When our crashing servers brought everything down, we thought Norton Backup would be our salvation. Wrong. Although we could easily find the specific backup files, Norton couldn't. Nor could it restore anything. It took some effort to find a workaround after Norton offered no help at all.

And our paranoia was well placed. Not only did we have Norton, we had separate backups and backups of those. Way too much effort, way to many re-installations, but we mostly got everything up to speed.

Obviously we need a much better disaster recovery plan. IT is working on it. Meanwhile, we're making copies of everything.