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Even before the advent
of war with Iraq and the World Trade Center tragedy of Sept. 11, Las Vegas
companies sought disaster recovery plans that would enhance the effectiveness of
information storage and recovery.

For most businesses,
the need to ensure the integrity of electronic and traditional data storage is a
key if not crucial to the ability of the business to survive in the wake of some
kind of disaster.

Toward that end,
companies are turning to off-site centers for a variety of reasons, including
fear of terrorism attacks, and protection from fires or floods.

In Las Vegas, IT
Strategies International, Inc. helps businesses form plans that will minimize
disruption in the event of a disaster.

“IT consultants
develop plans and analyses customized to businesses before they bring their
critical data to off-site facilities,” said Verner Dixon Jr., vice
president of sales and marketing for IT Strategies. “These consultants
handle everything from researching the market for appropriate collocation center
locations to determining which records are critical to developing full-blown
disaster recovery plans.”

Dixon said that,
whether a company turns to a professional consultant or takes on business
recovery planning alone, two critical elements must be met.

First, companies must
routinely back up data. Ideally, this should occur daily, but weekly back up may
be sufficient for a small business.

Next, companies must
secure the saved information. This usually means taking the information to a
secondary site. While some companies store CDs or tapes in a fireproof safe or
cabinet at the main business location, it is preferable to store backed-up
information where it cannot be affected by disaster and where it can be easily
accessed in the event of a catastrophe.

There are various sites
in Southern Nevada that are used to store data. Often they are non-descript
looking structures, usually fenced, and often appearing like a blockhouse or

Many businesses in Las
Vegas as well as major casinos have undertaken disaster recovery and data
storage programs. But for security reasons, they’ve requested their names not
be published.

Once an effective plan
for recovery is in place, the procedure should be reviewed annually and updated
as needed, Dixon said. Technology changes, as does the threat of disaster and
other catastrophic events to businesses.

“Many see disaster
recovery as the wave of the future, as we enter a time when it is impossible to
predict what dangers face companies,” Dixon said.

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