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Database Backup And Disaster Recovery Planning

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By Author: Sherry Roberts
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The more data is becoming essential to business operations, the more it becomes crucial to protect the data. There are various methods through which organizations that rely heavily on data can protect it. However, the most suitable methods are the implementation of effective data backup and disaster recovery planning. It has been proven that backing up crucial data files can against accidental loss of user data, corruption of the database, hardware failures, and more importantly the natural disasters. Therefore, this paper will evaluate database backup and disaster recovery planning through comparison. Additionally, the paper aims at assessing how the two phenomena can be integrated and the outcomes of failing to implement them in an organization.

Database Backup and Disaster Recovery Planning
Data backup and restorations are essential pieces of a successful business. This fact made organizations spend fortunes in employing database administrator whose roles are preparation for the possibility of system failure leading to data loss. The database administrator should make sure data is available, and that essential business processes are continuing. However, the database administrator cannot perform such duties without an effective database backup and recovery plan. Disaster recovery plan comes the data has been backed up, and the primary data has been lost following a disaster.
Database Backup
Database backup is similar to an insurance plan. There is a possibility of accidental deletion of critical files in an organization all the time. Additionally, data which is critical to business operations can become corrupt. A natural or manmade disaster can also leave an organization’s office in ruin. An organization that has implemented a concrete data backup can survive from any of the catastrophic occurrences comfortably. On the other hand, an organization that has neither database backup nor recovery will have nothing to fall back (Nelson, 2011).
Building a Database Backup
Organizations should take their take to create and implement database backup plan. However, such organizations should have ready data that should be backed up. The organization should also determine the frequency of data backup among others considerations such as:
• The importance of the data to the organization’s systems while are important to determine whether an organization requires database backup. It will also determine the frequency of data backup and the mechanisms. Mission-critical data will require database while less important data will require a simple backup plan.
• The type of information contained in the data will also determine the requirement of a data backup plan. It may be that data that seems less important to one organization may be important to another organization. Therefore, the type of information contained in a data will be a determinant of whether an organization requires data backup.
• The frequency with which the data changes can also affect the organization’s decision on the frequency of data backup
• The availability of the data backup equipment will also determine the need for a data backup in an organization. An organization should have the readily available hardware for data backup. Additionally, the timely backup will require to be accompanied by several data backup devices and other backup media.
• The speed with which the data in the backups is required because time is an important determinant in the creation of a data backup plan. Critical systems may require the organizations to get back online quickly. It may require the organization to alter their backup plan.
• The person responsible for backups and recovery plans also determines the backup plan required by the organization.
Basic Types of Data Backups
There are several techniques and mechanisms that organization may use to back up their files. However, the techniques are dependent on the type of data the organization would like to back up and the convenience of recovery process among others. The list below provides basic types of data backup available to an organization and individual (Cougias, Heiberger, & Koop, 2007).
Normal/Full Backups
This type of data backup backs up all the selected files regardless of the settings of the data archive feature. The archive feature is cleared when a file is backed up. On the other hand, the feature is set when the file is modified later. It is an indication that the file requires to be backed up Cougias, Heiberger, & Koop, 2007).
Copy Backups
It functions almost similarly to the normal backups. It backs up all the selected files regardless of the settings of the archive feature. However, it does not modify the archive attribute. Therefore, it allows performance of other types of backups at a later date Cougias, Heiberger, & Koop, 2007).
Differential Backups
The database administrator designs differential backup to create backup copies of the files that have had changes since the last full backup. The presence of the archive attribute is an indication that the file has undergone modifications, and therefore, only files with such attribute will undergo backup. However, the archive attribute on the files does not undergo modification. Therefore, it allows the files to undergo other types of backups in the future Cougias, Heiberger, & Koop, 2007).
Incremental Backups
Incremental backups backup the files that have undergone changes since the recent full or incremental backup. The archive attribute on the files is an indication that the file has undergone modification and therefore, modified files should be backed up. Backing up a file clears the archive attribute. The archive quality is set when the file is modified later which is an indication that the file requires backing up Cougias, Heiberger, & Koop, 2007).
Daily Backups
Daily backups back up the files using the date of modification of the file. The file will be backed up if it has undergone modification on the same day as the modification. However, the backup technique does not change the archive attribute on the files.
A backup device should be installed on the computer before it is used. When an installation of the backup device has been done, the user should tell the operating system about the controller card and the drivers that the device will use. However, it does not apply to the standard tapes and DAT files Cougias, Heiberger, & Koop, 2007).
Disaster Recovery Planning
Disaster recovery is one of the most complicated aspects of disaster management and the component that many people do not understand. It is among the four phases of emergency management which include preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery. It holds true for disaster researchers and practitioners. One of the greatest challenges with disaster recovery planning is lacking comprehensive understanding and clarity of the personnel in charge of the long-term recovery procedures and activities after the occurrence of a disaster. The challenge becomes worse in the case of a disastrous event. Disaster recovery planning is a plan meant to recover mission-critical data and system after a loss. Disaster may happen due to natural occurrences or human errors. Failure of the hardware leads the way in the disasters that data requires to be recovered followed by a human error. Others are a corruption of the software, malware, theft, and destruction of the hardware in that order. Therefore, it is clear that data is faced with various disasters that may be hard to avoid. Such unpredictability is the reason that necessitates disaster recovery planning before the occurrence of a disaster (Berke, Kertez, & Wenger, 1993).
Downtime survey conducted in the United States shows that companies are likely to suffer the loss of millions due to the time they will be down after occurrence of a major disaster. There are also worse scenarios where the companies may close business altogether. Most of such companies do not have a comprehensive recovery plan that would be put in action after the occurrence of a disaster. Besides such effects, outages would also cause the following effects to accompany (Olshansky, 2006):
• There is likelihood of loss of revenue and income and interruptions of the major business operations
• There might be litigation against the company due to lack of delivery of goods and services
• The business may lose competitiveness and the business. The case may lead to the business closing or putting it under new management that is costly
• The company may lose reputation during the time it will be down due to a disaster.
• There will be financial implications at the end
Disaster Recovery Scenario
There is many and various disaster scenario such as loss of access to a computer center that would result in poor data connectivity and loss of capabilities of data processing of the systems. Such a disaster may lead to the organization being unable to salvage all the equipment in the room loss of critical telecommunications capability. The occurrence of such a disaster will require the key personnel taking the immediate action to alert the disaster recovery center. Disaster recovery center is likely to provide restoration of critical data including the following (Olshansky, 2006):
• Connection of network lines to the disaster recovery center
• Provision of the workspace and the required equipment
• Provision of critical coverage at the disaster recovery center
• Operation of the critical operations of the system configuration at the disaster recovery center
Recovery of critical systems of an organization happens in phases. The emphasis of disaster recovery is to recover essential components effectively, timely, and efficiently. The process enables recovery of critical components of the organization over a certain period after activation of the data center. The first phase of disaster recovery involves moving the critical operations to the disaster recovery backup site and the designed emergency operations center. The activity starts with the activating the disaster recovery plan. It gives up to 24 hours. The second phase comprises of recovering critical business functions as well as restoring essential applications and network connectivity. The aim of the phase is recovering the systems and the network to enable the continuation of the business. The final phase returns data processing tasks to the main facilities or an alternative computer facility (Klein, 2007).
Integration of Database Backup and Disaster Recovery
Database backup and disaster recovery are not interchangeable. Additionally, disaster recovery is not possible without a comprehensive data backup. Disaster recovery involves restoring the systems and ensuring they are running in the shortest time possible including the associated data. Data recovery will not be possible without having a comprehensive plan that seeks to save data before the occurrence of a disaster (Fitzjarrell, 2015).
The process of data recovery will also be cheaper because the data recovery center will be recovering something that is known. It would have been hard where the recovery team is tasked with the recovery of data that was not saved in the first place. It also makes the work of database administrator easy in case they are responsible for data recovery because they know where to start (Fitzjarrell, 2015).
Most of the storage managers in many organizations are not aware of the critical data security issues. Therefore, most of the business organizations are not aware of where they stand. Such organizations cover the basics of data security such as ensuring the firewall is in place, patching of the systems, backing up of the data, and user accounts have the recommended passwords. Most of the managers assume that is all that concerns data security. However, those are some aspects of data security. Learning data security through integrating both data backup and data recovery will give the managers comprehensive knowledge and understanding of all the requirements of data storage (Curry, Hon, & Folsom, 2009).
Data backup and disaster recovery planning are the two most important data requirements for the organizations willing to take their business processes seriously. They protect data against possible losses and corruption regardless of the impacts of the disaster as has been the highlights of this paper. Therefore, it will be advisable for organizations willing to maximize on the current digital age and big data era to implement effective data backups and disaster recovery planning as a priority.

Berke, P. R., Kertez, J., & Wenger, D. (1993). Recovery after disasters: achieving sustainable
development, mitigation, and equity. Disasters, 17 (2), 93-109.
Cougias, D. J., Heiberger, E. L., & Koop, K. (2007). The backup book: Disaster recovery from
desktop to data center. Lafayette, CA: Network Frontiers.
Curry, K., Hon, C., & Folsom, M. (2009). Data backup systems. Retrieved 2015, from Journals

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at Melda Research in buy essay online if you need a similar paper you can place your order for a custom research paper from Online Essay Writing Services.

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