Virtualization is a driver for disaster recovery. Companies that previously could not have a disaster recovery solution are able to implement one using virtualization technology.
Here are the high level steps to creating your plan:
1. Make sure you have executive sponsorship – no point putting a lot of effort into a plan that will never get off the ground
2. Store less with deduplication
3. Plan your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) – How fast will you be back up and running?
4. Plan your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) – How far back will you be capable of recovering?
5. Utilize image level backups
6. Document the plan and implement
7. Test, test, test
You can create a plan for very high availability, extremely fast recovery that goes back a very long way but this all costs money so it is important to really analyze the business requirements and what is acceptable. The old saying is with enough money you can accomplish anything!
Plan before, after and then continuously!