Defining Your Business Continuity Management Plan

By Chris Whitehead

SharePoint is fast becoming a key application within many organizations, whether used as the platform for a company's Internet presence, or as a departmental collaboration solution. More often than not, these types of usage scenarios would automatically deem an application as business-critical. Indeed, e-mail is a communication and collaboration tool that is often considered business-critical for most organizations with an IT function.

On an all-too-often basis, a business impact analysis is not performed for SharePoint within an organization. This is reflected by the lack of a suitable business continuity management plan, and associated service level agreements (SLAs) for the service. If you do not know the business importance of a service, or the costs associated with outage and data loss, you cannot effectively define SLAs for that service. These SLAs will not only define the agreements for recovery objectives and service availability, they will often help determine what backup, recovery, and availability solutions are required to meet them. Moreover, they are likely to feed into other key design aspects for a SharePoint deployment, ranging from storage planning, to governance guidance for the creation and deployment of customizations.

One approach would be to back up everything as often as possible, while providing multiple redundancy solutions for hardware and software. Unfortunately, because of cost and ...

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