recovery strategy can’t be overstated.
programs— was one of the most important areas of
recovery during and following the storm. We deployed
five mobile recovery units, each equipped with computers, telephones, and all other basic office needs, to
assist customers who were not able to use their existing
workspace. There were a lot of lessons learned surrounding workforce continuity.
Hurricane Sandy exposed a true data center technology disaster and has companies reevaluating their
business continuity programs.
CE: How should pharmaceutical companies prepare
for 100 percent availability as we look ahead into
CB: Disaster recovery planning is a complex challenge
that covers three major fronts. Looking ahead and
planning for this year’s storm season, pharmaceutical
companies need to consider three areas: data protection,
systems recovery, and people, process, and programs.
• Data Protection: Hosting your data on-site alone is
not a proper method of data protection. The first step
to disaster recovery planning is to have an off-site,
secure location to protect your data. Depending on
your region and its proximity to water or to a storm
or tornado “alley,” it’s usually best if your off-site
recovery location is 40 to 50 miles away from your
• System Recovery: Are your platforms, servers, operating systems, backup software and hardware, hypervi-sors, networks, and storage up-to-date and actually
ready to recover your applications?
• People, Processes, and Program: Providing your
staff with the required workspace, equipment and
communications is vital to surviving a disaster. You
should also have a “runbook” that documents the
steps of your recovery. If a disaster strikes tomorrow and your staff has to work remotely, would they
know what to do? It’s important to continually test
these processes throughout the year. A disaster recov-ery/ business continuity (DR/BC) program is ongoing, and requires constant attention including testing,
analyses, execution of change management, and
more. Many companies hire a service provider like
SunGard Availability Services to keep their program
in tip-top shape at all times.