Case Study: Disaster Recovery Planning

Business Aspect was initially engaged by the company to provide specialist disaster recovery management expertise and advice, and to develop a disaster recovery plan (DRP). The company operates a major data centre environment with significant redundancy and failover capability and an extensive network across the state. The IT systems environment included critical mining and safety systems that would result in the shut-down of a mine should they become unavailable for an extended period of time. Consequently, the company’s management considered it prudent to build the process capability for recovery of ICT services following a disaster or major failure event.

Business Aspect worked closely with the company’s management to gain a deep understanding of the IT environment. The requirements for IT service continuity were defined and documented. Strategies for recovery, based on a number of outcome scenarios - such as loss of data centre, system failure, or denial of access to facilities – were defined. Following this work, a pragmatic, overarching plan was developed which defined key functions, such as communications, recovery teams, documentation and contacts. The plan included references to underlying procedures documentation and reference material that may be required.

Business Aspect has since been engaged by the company to undertake training and awareness of the plan and strategies through a series of workshop-based scenario tests. The tests were successfully carried out with all team members becoming fully trained in their roles. Refinements to the plan were made as a result of these tests. Subsequently, Business Aspect were engaged to provide IT services failover testing which was designed to test the failover of production systems to their secondary service, and to refine the processes and dependencies associated with failover.