Business Continuity Planning

Business continuity planning is needed to tolerate  the failure of  systems due to different reasons and recover from the failure to continue operations. Typical business scenarios for BCP are: 

  • Fault and intrusion tolerance in day-to-day operations
  • Disaster tolerance recovery
  • Data center migration or consolidation

Continuity Strategies

When continuity planning team is developing the organiztion's contingency approach, the team can choose one or serveral stratagies will be employed is usually limited by the consideration of cost. In general , there are three strategic options that make provisions for exclusion-use options are hot sites, warm sites and cold sites. The three shared-use options are time-share , service-bureaus, and mutual agreement.

Time Shares
A time-share operates like one of the three sites (hot , warm and cold) , but is leased in conjunction with a business partner or sister organization.The time-share allows the organization to provide a disater recovery / business continuity option while reducing the overall cost. The primary disadvantage is the possibility that more than one organization involved in the time-share might need the facility simultaneouly . Other disadvatages include the need to stock thae facility with the equipment and data from all organizations involved , the complexity of negotiating the time-share with the sharing organization and the possibility that one or more parties might exit the aggrement or sublease their options. It is much like agreeing to co-lease an apartment with a group of friends . One can only hope the organizations remain on amiable terms, because they all could potentially gain physical access to each other's data.

Service Bureaus
A Service bureau is a service agency that provides a service for fee. In the case of disater recovery / continuiting planning the service is the provision of physical facilities in the event of disaster . These agencies also frequently provides off-site data storage for a fee.Contracts with service bureaus can spacify exactly what the organization needs under what circumstances . A service agreement usually guarantees space when needed , even if this means that the service bureau has to acquire additional space in the event of a wide-spread disaster. It is much like the rental car provision in your car insurance policy . The disadvantage is that service contract must be renegotiated periodically and rates can change. This option can also be quite expensive.

Mutual Agreements
A mutual agreement is a contract between two organization for each to assit the other in the event of a disaster. It stipulates that each organization is obligate to provide the necessary facilities, resources , and services until the receiving organization is able to recover from the disaster . This arrangment can be a look like moving in with relatives or friends.

Whiteman , E.W and Mattord, J.H (2007) Principles of Incident Response and Disaster Recovery