Tech Racking A Server

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 15 – HW & SW Inventories


In this installment, we’re going to discuss two important lists you should have, Hardware and Software.

Both lists are crucial to your recovery. Why? Because, you need to know which systems and corresponding software your company needs to operate, at least minimally, while full restoration is progressing. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait until all systems are up before resuming business.

While you’re doing your preparing, you should have a list of equipment that you must have on hand to operate and who, in your organization, needs to be up and running immediately.

This means having plans in place to purchase, lease or rent the type of workstations, servers, and networking equipment your backup cold site needs to start operating immediately.

If a disaster occurs that wipes out your site, then you can immediately order the equipment necessary, have it delivered to your backup site, get your IT department to install the hardware, load up the necessary software, and begin operations.

But first, you’ll need to know what is critical, so you can begin a controlled, purposeful recovery, bringing online those systems in the order that makes most sense for your company’s survival.

Hardware Inventory

Having a complete inventory of hardware is crucial in so many ways. Also knowing which assets are critical for minimal operations is priceless. Here’s what you need to list for EVERY piece of hardware:

  • Type – server, workstations, etc.
  • Is machine critical to Operations (Y/N)
  • User’s name
  • Manufacturer
  • Manufacturer’s Contact Information
  • Serial Number
  • Internal Reference (if any)
  • Date purchased
  • Purchase Price
  • Managed Services Provider (MSP)
  • Operating System
  • Domain Name
  • Contract/Lease Number (if applicable)
  • RAM
  • Hard Drive Size
  • Processor

Software Inventory

You need complete information on the software you use for your company, such as:

  • Software Name
  • Product Number
  • License Number
  • Special System Requirements (if any)
  • Vendor
  • Vendor’s Contact Info
  • Is SW critical to operation (Y/N)
  • Function
  • Used in Dept/Area
  • Usernames
  • Location of installation media (cloud, executable program files, etc.)
  • Location of backup media copies

How to use this information

I hope you can see how valuable it is to have this data at your fingertips.

If a disaster occurs that severely damages your office, this list will tell you the immediate hardware and software assets you must procure to start operations at your backup location. Without such a list, personnel may waste time and money procuring and setting up systems of secondary importance and not the ones that are immediately in need.

Incidentally, these lists will make it much easier to log insurance claims quickly with your carrier because you’ll know precisely what was damaged. The quicker you put in the insurance claims, the quicker your financial recovery can begin.


Look at your written Disaster Plan as the means by which you can recover from a disaster quickly, giving you all of the information, you need for your partners (insurance, legal team, vendors, etc.) to assist in your recovery.

A well-written and tested Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is worth its weight in gold. Make sure you have one!

Related posts:

Now Available: A Simple Disaster Recovery Plan Template

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 1 – The Threat Matrix

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 2 – Critical Processes

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 3 – Declaring A Disaster

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 4 – Evacuation Plan

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 5 – The Communication Plan

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 6 – Backup Facilities

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 7 – Emergency & Vendor Information

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 8 – Employee Contact Information

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 9 – Vendor List

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 10 – Client Contacts

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 11 – Notification Matrix

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 12 – Insurance, Finance & Legal Info

Disaster Recovery Plan Step 13 – Licenses & Permits

Disaster Recovery Planning Step 14 – Disaster Recovery Systems

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