A company needs to consider its budget and recovery time objectives before choosing whether to pursue either internal or external disaster recovery solutions

Considering the internal and external options for your company’s business continuity plan

Companies that are looking to improve their business continuity planning need to first assess a number of factors, including their recovery time objectives and budgets. However, the expense can be more than worthwhile when an unplanned incident threatens a business' operations.

As Ted Brown, CEO of KETCHConsulting, mentions in a recent Storage Magazine article on disaster recovery sites, large well-funded corporations with aggressive recovery objectives may have the need and funding to design a secondary data center. But, while such sites are generally equipped to immediately continue daily operations at the primary site, they may not be appropriate for companies with smaller budgets, as the article estimates that internal recovery solutions could cost up to $25 million in fixed fees.

A markedly cheaper solution for businesses with fewer resources is configuring an external cold site. According to the article, for a fixed fee of as little as $5,000, a company can design a facility equipped with basic communication, power, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, but no technological infrastructure.

Alternatively, for fixed fees of as little as $15,000 a company could opt to design a more sophisticated alternate location called a warm site outfitted with technology but not the business' customer data, the article indicated.

However, the most viable option for companies with moderate budgets may be for them to design a fully functional external hot site equipped with the primary site's full data scope. While hot sites are the most costly of the external disaster planning solutions, estimated in the article at as little as $25,000 in fixed fees, a business owner must consider the time that can be saved through the quick deployment of a more complete alternative site with advanced technological capabilities.

Moreover, by using the services of a third-party disaster recovery service, a certified consultant can help your business level the playing field with external vendors and in many cases, cut fixed or rental fees in half. Further, with the best of these services guaranteeing free consultation unless the business definitively saves money, this option can be very low risk.