barcode generator vb.net Developing the Data Protection Plan in Software

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Developing the Data Protection Plan
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Again, we ll cover the details of these solutions in later chapters. The goal here was to give you an idea of the technical constraints that will affect your data protection plan.
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The real interface between systems administrators and their backup hardware is the software solution used. Within the backup tools and utilities, users can set up what should be backed up, to which media, and how often. A good example is the Backup utility included in Windows 2000 (see Figure 2-5). Additionally, more complex operations, such as performing backups of remote servers and workstations, can be managed. Backup software must also be able to handle special types of operations. In later chapters, we ll see how third-party programs include options for backing up items such as Microsoft SQL Server databases while they are in use. Overall, these tools help you manage the complexities of dealing with security and distributed data stored on heterogeneous client and server types.
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Figure 2-5.
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Part of planning for data protection is to shield your data against the worst-case scenario. What situation might this be For the sake of our discussion, let s assume that your entire site is wiped out by a comet that speeds through space and lands in your data center. This might sound like the plot for a popular (though not necessarily original) movie, but it helps to illustrate the point. All of your hardware, software, and data would be completely eliminated. When planning for disasters, you can take nothing for granted. Assumptions about the availability of adequate backups, power supplies, or even building infrastructure will not apply. One way to prepare for such an occurrence is to have a secondary site available. This is most important if your business must continue operations even in the face of a natural disaster. Such is the case for public utilities, certain government agencies, and other companies whose proper operations are very important to the public at large. Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) or business continuity planning (BCP) can be quite a time-consuming task. Fortunately, help is available from several resources and organizations: w s s s v Binomial www.binomial.com www.drj.com www.fema.gov www.rothstein.com
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It is beyond the scope of this book to cover the details associated with planning for disaster recovery, but be aware that this is something that should not be overlooked in a complete data protection plan.
BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS
If you ask a systems or network administrator what is required to solve data protection problems in their own environments, you ll likely get answers that mention factors such as redundancy, fault-tolerance for hardware and software, and backup hardware and software. These are good answers, but they focus only on the technical side of things. Often, the real challenge of creating a data protection plan is coordinating this effort with all areas of your company. In 1, we covered the importance of defining why we are protecting information. A complete data protection plan takes into account both the management and people side and the technical issues involved with performing backups. In this section, we ll look at some best practices for performing data protection on the management side.
2:
Developing the Data Protection Plan
Management Solutions
Technology has its limits. Hardware, software, and networks can only go so far in changing people s minds. That s where human intervention is required. Sometimes, good planning and procedures are all it takes to prevent data loss. Here are some procedures that will help you implement a successful data protection program: w End-user education If users understand your information system, including its limitations, they ll be able to better help protect that information. For example, if they know that your backup policies don t include backing up their local machines (and they understand the differences), they ll be much more likely to store their information on designated server shares. Proactive management It s often much easier to protect against data loss than it is to actually replace information that is lost. All too often, we wait until an accident happens before we do anything to take care of it. I have seen many backup solutions become priorities after data has been lost, where addressing this potential issue earlier would have saved a lot of time and headaches. Management and users must realize the importance of this. Management buy-in In many businesses, IT is seen as a cost center. By this, people usually mean that their IT organizations don t generate revenue. However, they are critical in supporting those users who do and, if used properly, can be a great investment for businesses of any size. Every user in your organization needs to understand the importance of data protection. Many companies are now realizing that their IT departments can give them a competitive advantage and can help in making strategic business decisions. This realization can help enhance both the perception of IT and the value of data protection within the company. The right tools Having the right tools can really help in making sure that bad things don t happen to your resources. For example, the prefailure notification components available in newer server hardware solutions can really help you know that a problem exists, before something goes wrong (and takes your precious data with it). I m hoping that the ideas included in this book will also help. Keep in mind that your tools don t have to be technical by nature; however, knowing what s available will help you make informed decisions as you design your own data protection plan. The right people Regardless of the tools and technologies you use, you ll need people who can make sure they are used properly. Sometimes, all it takes is a single individual that truly understands the business and technical issues associated with developing a data protection plan. A discussion of how to find and keep dedicated and competent personnel would take more space than is available in this book, but keep in mind that realizing the value of people in forming a data protection plan is key to its success.
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