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Create a Disaster Recovery Crash Kit – DRJ Blogs – Disaster Recovery Journal

 Data Recovery Crash Kit

A crash kit is usually a secure lock box that is kept a DR site or remote facility. It can also be a lock box that goes offsite with you tape backups and should probably be updated monthly. (Side note: as I said above a regional disaster takes a 50 miles radius which is something to consider when choosing your offsite tape vendor)In this box you will have everything necessary besides your actual recovery tapes and I have split it into 3 categories. First being your media the second is all printed documentation and lastly the miscellaneous. I will drill down into each of these below;


  • Operating System CDs (unless all of your servers are backed up via bare metal this is necessary)
  • Service Pack CDs (for the Windows folks)
  • Solaris patch media or FLAR images
  • Linux RPMS/kernels (Most times you won’t be able to access your online repositories to get these; and do you really want to allow production servers going to the internet unpatched?)
  • Resource Kit /Option Pack (For the Windows admins)
  • Additional Burned media (This can include some critical third party SW or plugins that weren’t part of the backup)
  • Your Backup server media (NetBackup, TSM etc..)
  • Additional B/U software (This is one off backup media sometimes used for VM’s or replication like Dataon Tap Netapp)
  • Antivirus Software (Server and client media)
  • 3rd party compression software (7Zip or winrar etc..)
  • Other Software CDs (Anything third party that can be critical for your recovery)
  • Virtualization software (ESX, RHEV, Virtual Center, XEN, virtual box etc..)
  • Email Encryption (PGP and keys etc)
  • SSL Certs
  • Terminal Emulators (Putty, hummingbird, VEEAM etc)
  • Copy of DB scripts on disk or USB ( there are database tasks that run as jobs not restored with the server)
  • Database Software and patches (Oracle, SQL, MySQL etc)
  • Blank CD’s ( They can be used to make multiple copies for multiple systems so your team can recover more than one at a time)


  • Server Recovery Procedures (A detailed procedure for each server being recovered)
  • Network Diagram (have an original version and a DR version)
  • License Keys (hardcopy to enter when installing the software)
  • Tape Lists (hardcopy to make sure all necessary media is at the DR site)
  • Contact List Vendors (This is for when you are troubleshooting a software issue; keep your client support ID on here as well
  • Hostname List & IP’s (Have your production list and a disaster recovery list IF different
  • Employee contact list (The troops names, personal emails and numbers)
  • Passwords in envelope (This is usually handled by your security team and their discretion)
  • CD of operational manuals
  • Encryption Keys
  • Linux/Unix Scripts (Always good to have a printed version to cross reference)
  • DNS customers List
  • Server configuration spreadsheet (Hardware, Model processor type etc..)
  • Other support contact info (Can be distributers, ISP, Offsite tape vendor etc.)
  • Business Recovery Plan

Miscellaneous: This is where you can very creative

  • Tool kit and screw driver (adding components or assembling new hardware)
  • Patch and cross over cables
  • Tapes (If you are going to be continuing business from a new place you may need additional tapes)
  • Cell Phones/Calling Cards
  • Credit Card (People will need to eat and get hotels)
  • Keys (For the tape box and locker/cabinet at DR facility)
  • Blank CD’s
  • 3/4G wireless cards
  • RSA tokens (for VPN access)
  • Walkie Talkies
  • Scratch paper and pens
  • Get creative……

A final note and reminder is to keep this updated as often as possible and the key to having an effective crash kit is having effective communication with your team.

Source: Create a Disaster Recovery Crash Kit – DRJ Blogs – Disaster Recovery Journal

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