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New Disaster Recovery Options Emerge

The best disaster recovery advice: Avoid disasters. Since that's not always possible, the next best advice is to choose the most cost-effective disaster recovery options -- ones that will work when needed.

Disaster recovery. Business continuity planning. Backups. These are subjects often considered boring by those not charged with making sure these technologies work. Nobody really pays much attention -- until a fire strikes, or servers and PCs are stolen, or a natural disaster occurs. At these times, businesses not only reach for their backups, they pray the files actually are there and their restore process works.

While hope and prayer have their place, they shouldn't be your strategy. A few years ago, downed systems or lost data might have slowed down businesses for a few days; today it probably means youre out of business. Perhaps that explains the projected rise in business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) spending among enterprises.

A recent study from research firm Frost & Sullivan , "North American Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Markets," estimates that business continuity and disaster recovery spending will reach $23.3 billion by 2012. That's up more than 50 percent from $15.1 billion in 2006. "We are seeing increased concern from small and mid-sized enterprises about how they protect their data," says Ted Warner, president of solution provider Connecting Point, based in Greeley, Colo.

Some of that concern certainly is the result of more businesses having learned through the troubling experiences of others, or even their own misfortune: conventional backup technologies -- tape, onsite storage -- aren't reliable. "It's surprising just how many companies don't bother to validate that their backup procedures are working properly," says Lester Keizer, CEO at Connecting Point Las Vegas.

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