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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Complexities of DR Design for the Federal IT Enterprise

Written by  Mano Malayanur & Julia Nathan April 24, 2014

Design of disaster recovery (DR) solutions is sometimes defined as the art of balancing the cost of disruption against the cost of recovery. This simple and elegant definition often masks the true complexity of DR. Cost of disruption is rarely measured solely in terms of revenue loss and often includes the damage to intangibles such as reputation. Likewise, the true cost of recovery is hard to quantify, and it is spread across the choices made in information technology (IT) resources, processes, and technologies deployed. These complexities are magnified in case of the federal IT enterprise. Lack of a profit motive for federal agencies can make it impossible to make a monetary case for DR. In private companies, cost of a disaster can often be measured in terms of loss of revenue and profit. However, the purpose of a federal IT system is typically not to make a profit or even raise