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Disaster recovery starts with moving your data off the premises, according to a senior technical specialist.


"Get the data out of the building" is the first rule of disaster recovery according to Jason Buffington, Microsoft's senior technical product manager for System Center Data Protection Manager.

Once the data is being transferred to a second location, you can start working on a strategic plan for disaster recovery. What you really need to avoid is the possibility of a disaster occuring while you're still in the planning stage and your data is still in the building that's been destroyed by a fire or other calamity, he explained.

Buffington suggests there are two distinct sides to data protection. The immediate availability aspect (getting up and running very quickly after a system failure) is built into products such as Exchange, SQL Server and - through Distributed File System Replication and Distributed File System Namespaces - Windows. "The platforms themselves are natively resilient," he said.

Data preservation, on the other hand, is addressed by Data Protection Manager (DPM). Even a very small business can put DPM to good use in a relatively affordable configuration that puts a second server in another location (typically the business owner's home) to provide offsite backup of the primary server and the PCs connected to it.

This sort of arrangement also provides opportunities for hosting providers and channel partners to provide the second server. Companies such as Iron Mountain and JASCO can also be called upon.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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