Getting a disaster plan ready

Posted on 2007-03-20
Last Modified: 2010-04-19
I would like to start a disaster recovery preparation on all my netware servers.  Is there a tid or steps anyone knows that can assist me.

Thank you
Question by:christopadilla
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Expert Comment

ID: 18759422
Specific to NetWare, or in general?
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Expert Comment

ID: 18759527
Welll, BC/DR is a *very* broad subject.

Broadly, the principles are the same as for any other OS environment. Have good offsite backups (that you test periodically). Document your environment. Test your BC/DR plans - Plan your Test and Test your Plan.

With eDirectory and Cluster Services, there are tricks you can pull (for example, if you have a DR site to which you have the necessary connectivity, you can put a server there and have it host Replicas of your eDirectory Tree), but that level of detail is specific to the environment.

Expert Comment

by:Michael Frederick
ID: 18759547
I used most of the info I found here for my DRP.

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Author Comment

ID: 18759574
The DR/BC plan is specific to Netware for now.  I have to setup about 22 servers for DR and all of them are located away from my home office and do not have technical staff to assist me.   All the servers run NW6.5 sp5 GW7.01

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Accepted Solution

ShineOn earned 125 total points
ID: 18759988
They ALL have GroupWise on them?  Naah...

Anyway, as far as the scope of the plan, is it for general business continuity or is it for localized, server-by-server "disaster" as in "the mobo on server #14 died, ohmygawd my files are there and I need them NOW!" type disaster recovery, or does it cover both and all the bases in-between including cold-site, communications backup plan with your telco, quick-ship replacement servers and network gear, etc.?

Expert Comment

ID: 18782321

I have never read a DR TID.  DR plan and DC plan are usually specific to the user environment.  For example, if your building burns down, "What'cha gotten do?"

Do you have proper backup systems in place?
Do you have insurance on your equipment that would replace servers and network equipment if there was major issue?
Do you have proper technical support on the line if the entire thing went down?  
Do you have another site available if this one became unusable?

As for restoring servers or data, those steps are usually in a different layer of planning then the DR.  If you have got 22 servers without written procedures about how to restore a lost mail box or folder, I would start with that.  Refer to those documents in your DR.  But basically, a DR is about WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO? if there is a disaster.  There is are no TID's for that.

Other ideas are, depending on your budget and scale of operation,
- having a hot site, that can be switched over to if there was problem?  
- A backup generation could be part of a DR Plan.  
- Having all of your backup data at a place like Iron Mountain
- Have a DR box with all of the important installation software and configuration information, keep one off site.
- A list of professional skills or people that could run the network if all your techs got hit by a bus
- Password lists needed to access the network data

A BC plan usually involves difference issues like, what to do on a snow day?  What if there was toxic spill on your street and you couldn't get into the building?  What if there was terrorist attack? (to be extreme)

In a group of 22 servers, losing a server could hardly be considered a disaster.  How to restore a server is not usually part of DR, but rather a reference.  Usually, the only mention of platform and applications are made on a list of software needed to restore the network.

I hope this helps.

Assisted Solution

Challen earned 125 total points
ID: 18782613
Just another comment on the subject.

DR plans are not usually for IT.  They are for the executives.  If you have 22 servers, more then likely, you have someone there that can rebuild the network.  A DR Plan is an inventory of systems that might need to be replaced, repaired, protected, or relocated.  The plan shows your management understands what must happen in case of a disaster.

Making a DR usually takes a little time.  It involves allocating funds to protect the BC.  For example:  We don't have a backup generator because the cost of buying a backup generator would be more then us being closed for a day or two.  But if you have systems that MUST stay up and the management agrees that spending $100K would be better then going down for a day or two, that would be part of your DR and BC plan.  Or perhaps buying bandwidth and CPU time from some super cluster like AT&T might be a good idea.

When making a DR, you must work with management and gather information about what they have already done to protect BC.  If weakness is exposed, you either accept it or fix it, or plan to fix it.  IT is usually involved in making a DR plan, because they usually know what it takes to get a system back up and running.  But it's the exec's that usually want to know what they would do if the techs couldn't show up to work one day.

Author Comment

ID: 18795304
Thank you all for your input.  

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