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Disaster recovery is the process of regaining access to the data, hardware and software necessary to resume critical business operations after a natural or human-induced disaster. The complexity of technology systems requires detailed planning and testing to ensure recovery capabilities in the case of a disaster. Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP) is a component of an agency’s Continuity Of Operation Plan (COOP) which is handled by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS). Disaster Recovery Planning is managed by Indiana Office of Technology that addresses the recovery planning of servers and applications housed in primary IOT Data Center.
There are many potential disruptive events and the impact and probability level must be assessed to give a sound basis for progress. If the assessment of the disruptive event doesn’t constitute a need for Disaster Recovery then the normal SLA process
(refer to Delivery Services Enterprise Service Level Agreement documentation and
DR Process Layout) would be invoked depending on the nature of the failure (example: network, hardware, application etc.) To assist with this process the following list of potential events has been produced (see Disaster Event Possibilities for Indiana Government).
The IOT DR Location
IOT has contracted a state of the art educational institution primary data processing facility to be our secondary data center and recovery site. The distance between IOT’s primary data center and the secondary data center ensures continued state operations from nearly all predictable disasters. The number of efficiencies in the secondary data center also contributes to IOT’s ability to offer various DR Service levels at favorable costs to agencies.
Robust redundant Wide Area Network Connectivity (WAN) connectivity between Indianapolis and Bloomington allows unprecedented recovery times for systems bought in to IOT DR Plan. Leveraging the state’s investment in networking infrastructure again drives down costs for state agencies. The state also has Local Area Network Connectivity (LAN) in place at the DR location and these costs are included in the DR Fee. Refer to the State Infrastructure Logical Diagram.
Consulting and coordination
IOT has a dedicated resource coordinating facility needs, network connectivity, and technical details needed to ensure disaster recovery can occur within defined timeframes. Agencies enrolling their systems in the IOT offered Classification/Category/Designation/Service will work with IOT to ensure necessary components are in place, develop a recovery plan, complete DR Testing, and document recovery procedures.
Critical recovery of Windows and UNIX systems (Classification/Category/Designation/Service)
Systems designated as Critical have Recovery Time Objective (RTO - Downtime) less than 6 hours and the Recover Point Objective (RPO-Data Loss) of 60 seconds to 5 minutes up to 23 hours if required. To restore services within this timeframe requires agencies to purchase appropriate processing capabilities and have IOT install to keep them operationally ready. In addition, data replicated from the primary production environment to the disaster environment using SAN Replication technology.
Critical production systems running on virtual environment have an option to replicate to Bloomington. This option significantly improves Recovery Time Objective (RTO-Downtime) of those critical application production systems.
IOT has devised a strategy to make DR testing part of any new system implementation or system upgrade plan so we have an option to document the recovery procedure before any new system goes live in production. This strategy is applicable only to systems designated as Critical in IOT DR plan.
IOT offers Two Phase DR Testing options. IOT recommendation for the Agencies is to perform yearly DR tests to keep the recovery documentation maintained by IOT up to date.
Necessary recovery of Windows and UNIX systems (Classification/Category/Designation/Service)
Systems designated as Necessary have Recovery Time Objective (RTO - Downtime) within 7 business days and Recover Point Objective (RPO-Data Loss) from 1 to 3 days. To restore services within this timeframe requires ready space, power, and networking capabilities. Most necessary systems will be recovered using Advanced Backup and Restore Tool to Virtual hosting environment. All the systems that bought in to this Classification/Category/Designation/Service are replicated every day to Bloomington.
Systems that are identified during DR Testing that would not run on virtual environment will be recovered using the same Advanced Backup and Restore Tool to a physical server. This is another reason why the agencies are requested to participate in the DR Testing exercise. For necessary systems that wouldn’t run on virtual environment, no processing capability is purchased until a disaster condition exists. IOT has arranged with its server provider to rush deliver needed servers within 3 to 4 business days in the event of a disaster.
IOT has set up an isolated network in Bloomington that duplicates state infrastructure to test necessary systems. IOT schedules, coordinates, recovers, and documents the recovery procedure for the necessary system in collaboration with the agency application owners.
IOT has installed a second mainframe computer in the Bloomington recovery facility and all IOT mainframe systems should be recoverable within 6 hours. There is no separate DR charge for mainframe systems. DR costs are built into current mainframe rates. IOT completed DR testing mainframe and documented the recovery procedure.
File and Print recovery
File services provided by IOT include home and shared drives typically used to store Word and Excel documents. IOT has completed migration of all shared file servers to NAS (Network Attached Storage) technology and they are replicated to Bloomington asynchronously. IOT File Services will be recovered within the Critical (6 hours) timeframe.
Print Services provided by IOT will be recovered in 7 business days. DR test successfully completed for the Print Services and the recovery procedure has been documented.
The cost of these capabilities provided by IOT is built into SEAT costs with no additional DR fee applicable.
IOT Shared Citrix, Client VPN, and Site to Site VPN
For Citrix, only the agency systems that bought in to Critical and Necessary Classification/Category/Designation/Service have DR recovery plan for their published application in Bloomington. Agency should work on their DR plan with IOT if they would want their published application recovered in Bloomington during a DR event. Agencies also have to plan with IOT on the number of Citrix accounts required to access their published application.
Client VPN already is DR ready and it is included in the agency current charges for the current active users. Agencies should proactively plan with IOT if they would like to include this as connectivity option for their COOP plan.
Site to Site VPN for vendor connectivity to agency systems or vice versa already has a DR presence. It would be agency responsibility to plan their third party vendor site to site connectivity to Bloomington if the agency bought in to Critical and Necessary Classification/Category/Designation/Service.
E-mail recovery will be executed in two phases. The first phase will be to restore e-mail capabilities for all agency e-mail addresses. After this is accomplished, IOT will begin restoring historically vaulted messages to mailboxes.
Blackberry services will also be recovered post email recovery.
DR test completed and the recovery procedure has been documented for E-mail Recovery.
Disaster Recovery fee applies to every individual physical or virtual server dedicated (agency procured server hardware or virtual environment specifically used only for their application/system use) to the agency supporting a production application environment/system hosted in IOT Data Center designated in IOT DR plan as either Critical (6 hours Recover Time Objective-Downtime) or Necessary (7 days Recover Time Objective-Downtime). This fee includes those incurred by IOT for the dedicated resource, the facilities charges, and all network connectivity.
Critical systems might incur additional Server hosting charges, additional SAN storage charges for the data replication, and additional Site to Site VPN charges for vendor connectivity for the duplicated systems in Bloomington.
Necessary systems realize no other additional monthly costs but would incur processing, server hosting, and storage costs should the state have a disaster situation.
IOT will periodically review DR costing structure and may modify the costing scheme to more accurately disperse charges based on changing infrastructure and support costs
(refer to IOT Services Descriptions and Rates - Hosting for details).
IOT is pleased to offer a competitive cost-effective disaster recovery solution for all of state government, provided that the agencies have a DR plan with IOT.
Organized and / or Deliberate Disruption
Loss of Utilities and Services
Equipment or System Failure
Serious Information Security Incidents
Other Emergency Situations
Does the state plan protect my agency from all disaster situations?
No. Though it does offer protection from the vast majority of scenarios there are a limited number of disasters that could affect both the primary and secondary data centers. Most notable among these is an earthquake. Earthquakes are rare in Indiana and damaging ones even more so.
Disasters are not common in Indiana. Why should my agency participate?
Indiana is fortunate that it does not face some of the environmental threats other states do. However, agencies need look no further than recent damage to the Regions bank building in Indianapolis to understand that we are at risk. Similar damage to the state’s data center would have resulted in extended down time. DR capabilities are now available and with the affordable costs should be carefully considered.
What if I don’t sign up for coverage?
Your system will be recovered on a best efforts basis. That time period is at least 45 days and most likely longer. Preparation and planning is the only way to successfully handle disaster scenarios. Facilities, infrastructure, and testing must be in place to recover in a timely manner.
Can state agencies split production between the primary and secondary data centers to cut costs and increase protection?
Not initially. The first objective is to ensure recovery capabilities for all covered state systems. In the future it is a possibility IOT will explore.
How does an agency contact IOT to work on a DR plan for their systems or any questions relate to DR?
Agency contacts the HelpDesk to open a ticket and requests it to be assigned to the Disaster Recovery Queue with the questions or interest in an IOT DR plan.
What are the other IOT Shared Services other than Exchange, File Services, Print Services etc. that have DR Recovery Plan?
Shared FTP, Shared Sharepoint, Shared Proxy, Shared SQL (not for all systems so check with your SQL Team), Shared Oracle (not for all systems so check with your Oracle Team), Shared SQL Reporting Services, and Shared Oracle Application Server.
Does IOT have a Disaster Declaration and Communication plan documented as part of the DR plan for the agencies?
Yes, refer to Disaster Declaration and Communication.
IOT – Indiana Office of Technology
IDHS – Indiana Department of Homeland Security
IU – Indiana University
SLA – Service Level Agreement
DR – Disaster Recovery
DRP – Disaster Recovery Plan
COOP – Continuity Of Operation Plan
MTPOD – Maximum Tolerable Period of Disruption
RTO – Recover Time Objective (Downtime)
RPO – Recover Point Objective (Data loss)
WAN – Wide Area Network
LAN – Local Area Network
SAN – Storage Area Network
NAS – Network Attached Storage
VPN – Virtual Private Network
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions