The Office of Technology of Glenville State College gratefully acknowledges the model and selected text from "Administrative Information Systems Disaster Recovery Plan," Syracuse University, Southern West Virginia Community, and Macalester College.
Disaster Recovery Outline and Guide
The personnel, equipment, software systems, and databases which comprise the Office of Technology are necessary in order for the College to function in an effective manner. The purpose of this plan is to provide guidance in recovering from any disaster which might befall these to minimize downtime and to assist users in accommodating their critical processing requirements.
The decision to implement disaster recovery procedures is the responsibility of the Associate Vice President of Technology or his/her designee.
The Disaster Recovery Team will convene as soon as possible after a disaster has occurred to assess damages and make recommendations to the Associate Vice President of Technology.
This plan will be distributed to and used by those persons responsible for its implementation and operation. These individuals are identified in Appendix A. This document will be maintained and updated by Office of Technology whenever significant changes occur.
The basic requirements for the Recovery plan are as follows:
- Disaster recovery team.
- Disaster recovery documentation.
- Backup computer facilities (hot site).
The Disaster Recovery Team (see Appendix A) has been established and organized to assess the damage to the computer facility, to control and coordinate recovery/backup actions, and to make recommendations to the Associate Vice President. The team will consist of a cross section of persons responsible for one or more of the following functions:
- Recovery administration
- insurance notification
- Systems software
- Application software
The Associate Vice President serves as the Chair. In the absence of the Director, the DBA Programmer Senior is to serve as the Chair. The disaster recovery team shall meet annually to discuss the current document and make recommendations for changes to it. All changes must be agreed upon by the majority of the team before they become part of the document. It is the responsibility of the Associate Vice President to make the necessary changes and distribute the new document to the appropriate persons.
In the event of a disaster or major failure, the team should convene with as many team members as possible. All members of the team should assess damages and report to the Chair at the earliest opportunity.
In the event that disaster befalls the current location of the computers/servers, having backup tapes stored off site is critical. Daily backups of the complete system and database exports for a two week period are stored in a fireproof safe located in the Office of Technology. The most current full system backup and the most recent full database export should be stored far enough away from the computer room to be safe in the case of fire or flood. Near off-site storage has been designated as the Business Office area of Louis Bennett Hall. Far off-site storage has been accomplished using WVNET.
In the case of fire or natural disaster it may become necessary to move the computer room to a backup location or hot site. The location currently designated is West Virginia Network for Educational Telecomputing in Morgantown, WV. This site has been selected because the network is already in place connecting all of our campuses. If one campus was destroyed the other campuses would still have network communications to WVNET.
Several recovery plans have been identified, depending upon the circumstances.
Being ready and planning ahead is the easiest way to be sure we can quickly and fully recover from a disaster.
These are the first actions taken in an emergency situation, designed to bring the computer systems back to operation, even if not at full capacity or in a degraded state.
These are the procedures designed to return the computer systems to a fully operational state, or degraded state, including bringing up the hot site.
This section outlines the minimum steps needed to insure we can fully recover from a disaster.
- The disaster plan must be kept current and all of the personnel on the recovery team must be made aware of any changes.
- The offsite storage area should be inspected periodically to insure it is clean, organized and that the correct backups are in storage.
- The fire fighting system in the computer room should be inspected regularly.
- As many department heads as possible should be aware of the consequences of a disaster and what they can do while recovery is in progress.
- The building and grounds department should have the telephone numbers of pertinent persons to contact in the case of an emergency occurring during off hours.
- Procedures and lead times for replacement equipment and communications should be established.
- All computing personnel should be informed of the proper emergency and evacuation procedures.
- Procedures for informing user community should be established.
In the event that there is warning of an impending disaster, e.g. potential flood situations, tornadic activity in the immediate area, fire or potential building damage,the following steps should be taken.
- Notice should be given to as many recovery team members as possible. (see appendix A)
- The Associate Vice President should be briefed and a decision should be made whether to shut down the systems.
- The recovery team should convene and review whatever actions may be necessary.
This section details the basic actions that need to be taken in the event of a disaster situation.
- The Associate Vice President or his assignee should be notified as soon as possible.
- The disaster recovery team should be notified and assembled as soon as reasonable under the circumstances.
- Team members should assess damages to their individual areas of expertise.
- Team members should advise the Associate Vice President as to the extent of damage and recovery procedures necessary so that the decision to move the computer center can be made after the assessment of the damage done to the current facility.
- Pertinent vendors should be contacted and negotiations should be made for the delivery of equipment, delivery time should be noted. (see appendix B)
- All department heads should be informed of the decision and given an estimated time to the return to either full or degraded service.
- Each member of the disaster recovery team should supervise their own area of expertise.
- The computer facility should be secured.
Recovery from a complete failure to a degraded mode of service may be necessary. In this case it may be possible to bring up individual departments on a priority basis.
The decision to operate in a degraded mode and the order in which departments are to brought back into service should be made by the Associate Vice President in consultation with team members and other Vice Presidents.
If it is decided to transfer the computer center to the hot site located at WVNET:
- It is assumed that the basic emergency procedures have been followed as detailed in section 3.2.
- An inventory of the status of existing equipment and files should be compiled.
- The move should be coordinated by the Associate Vice President.
- Vendors should be contacted to initiate delivery of replacement equipment to the hot site. At this time estimated time of delivery should be noted. (see appendix B)
- A new offsite (backup) storage facility should be located and used immediately, if necessary.
- All facility systems should be verified operational at this time.
- Systems should be tested and loaded as soon as the vendors release them to the college.
- Communications, networking, operations and applications software personnel should be prepared to install and or setup their individual function in the appropriate order.
- Department heads should be made aware of progress and or setbacks on a regular basis.
- Existing safety and emergency procedures at the backup facility should be examined for their adequacy as a computer room.
The following timetable does not take into account the amount of time required to input data held on hardcopy during the recovery period, or re-inputting data which may have been lost during recovery.
Convene the disaster recovery team and assess damages, contact vendors, contact WVNET, discuss options.
Restore programs and data, test integrity of programs and data. Begin restoring communications and networking capabilities.
Restore partial operation to priority departments.
Determine priority of data processing.
Take delivery and setup new equipment. Restore full communications and networking capabilities. Work with departments to verify data and operation of applications.
The following steps will be taken to insure that the Disaster Recovery Plan is current, feasible and effective:
- Every year the Disaster Recovery Team will be convened to review the Plan and Appendices. Updates or revisions will be made at this time
- The contents of the off-site disaster backup tape storage will be subjected to unannounced periodic audits by the Associate Vice President. Results of the audit will be documented and filed with the Disaster Recovery Plan addenda materials.