Business Continuity


During a Disaster Recovery (DR) implementation effort the last thing you want is unexpected hardware and software configuration issues. These tend to consume time, resources, and cause Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) to be missed. In order to ensure business continuity, organizations must design, implement, maintain and enforce policies, guidelines, standards and procedures that encompass all aspects of their critical business functions. A successful DR effort is not only dependent upon a well thought-out DR plan; it must have been derived from an enterprise wide mentality of business continuity. Furthermore, business continuity must be the beginning point in systems design, not the end point. Unfortunately, very few systems are built from the business continuity perspective backwards.

Business Continuity is the activity performed by an organization to ensure that critical business functions will be available to customers, suppliers, regulators, and other entities that must have access to those functions. These activities include many daily chores such as project management, system backups, change control, and help desk. Business Continuity is not something implemented at the time of a disaster; Business Continuity is those activities performed on a daily basis to maintain business function service, consistency, recoverability, and regulatory compliance.

The foundation of Business Continuity is the policies, guidelines, standards, and procedures implemented by an organization. All system design, implementation, support, and maintenance must be based on this foundation in order to have any hope of achieving Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, or in some cases, system support. It is usually a bad idea to attempt to maintain multiple standards in support of a specific IT area. In many organizations today, separate standards are maintained for standalone AIX systems, HACMP clusters, and disaster recovery groups. This series of documents will show that is not necessary and how to consolidate into a single standard for all AIX systems, including HACMP and disaster recovery.

The documents presented here will define many IT areas that require enterprise wide policies, guidelines, standards, and procedures be defined, and will offer recommended solutions for those defined areas.

Definition: Enterprise Wide Unique (EWU) - refers to a parameter that has one distinct value across any or all platforms throughout the entire enterprise.