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Priority 1, P2, P3 servers - whats in which group

Posted on 2013-01-02
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Last Modified: 2013-01-07
1) Do you categorise and group your servers into priority groups for SLA, availability purposes, based on their importance?

2) If so can you give me some examples of your P1 (priority 1) servers - and what they do/what role they server, then some examples of P2 (priority servers/roles) and what they do/what role they server etc etc.

3) Also what does your scale go to, i.e. p1-p4?

4) Finally, how do you determine if a server goes into the p1 pot, or a lower priority grouping? What factors do you consider?

5) Why do you need to put them into P1, P2, P3 type groups, i.e. with what does that help with? What applies to P1 servers that doesnt to P2, P3 etc etc.

Ours are predominantly windows 2008 servers on ESXi hosts...
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Question by:pma111
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18 Comments
 
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by:pma111
ID: 38736468
6) What is the name of the document that shows all your servers and what priority group they are in?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 167 total points
ID: 38736487
our clients define which servers they have are important to service, and each client is different, because of different businesses.

1. Yes.

2. email service (S1), fax service (S4)

3. Clients vary, some clients have to S1-S12. (severity)

4. Client decides based on their business and workflow model.

Infrastructure Documents, Service Delivery Documents define the Services, a Service can use many servers.

But we talk about services.
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by:pma111
ID: 38736495
2. email service (S1), fax service (S4)


What about domain controllers, VCenter, DNS, DHCP, file servers, citrix servers etc.
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by:pma111
ID: 38736507
Could you just give a list of perhaps 3 s1 servers/roles, 3 s2 servers/roles, 3 s3 servers/roles - just for an idiots guide and to give it some context, and what falls into what, typically...

Thanks
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Assisted Solution

by:Joseph Moody
Joseph Moody earned 167 total points
ID: 38736528
1) Do you categorise and group your servers into priority groups for SLA, availability purposes, based on their importance?

Yes

2) If so can you give me some examples of your P1 (priority 1) servers - and what they do/what role they server, then some examples of P2 (priority servers/roles) and what they do/what role they server etc etc.

P1: PDC, Exchange, SIS, iSeries

3) Also what does your scale go to, i.e. p1-p4?

Critical, High, Medium, Low

4) Finally, how do you determine if a server goes into the p1 pot, or a lower priority grouping? What factors do you consider?

Grouping depends on the impact on users. For example, an application server that servers 15% of our users would be medium or low (depending on how often app is used). A print server for a site would be a high. PDC is Critical. Other DCs are high.

Our ranking is basically number of users effected X how much time is lost by users.

5) Why do you need to put them into P1, P2, P3 type groups, i.e. with what does that help with? What applies to P1 servers that doesnt to P2, P3 etc etc.

It helps with resource allocation, migrations, and in DR. You have a prioritized list on what needs to be up first.

6) What is the name of the document that shows all your servers and what priority group they are in?

We save ours to an offline DR backup sent to our server admins.
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Assisted Solution

by:Neil Russell
Neil Russell earned 166 total points
ID: 38736537
As hanccocka has said, you need to think SERVICES rather than servers.  If you have for instance 6 AD DC's hen the SERVICE will still be an S1 but any one individual DC may only be an S3 (On a 1 to 5 scale).

However if that single DC is the only DC on a site then it maybe that that ONE DC is infact an S2.....

It is not possible for anyone to tell YOU what YOUR client needs to have what priority in an SLA, that is for your Client to advise and for you to help them decide.

Is email mission critical? Yes? Then it may be an S1. No? Then maybe an S3 or S4 even.

Its all down to the clients business and how they work.
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LVL 120
ID: 38736541
Services are grouped not Servers.

Domain Controllers are servers, the service they offer is

Authentication (S1)

DNS and DHCP - Network Services (S1)

Organisations can work without access to Files and Citrix!

User Data (S2)
Application Services (S2)
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 38736547
"Grouping depends on the impact on users. For example, an application server that servers 15% of our users would be medium or low (depending on how often app is used). A print server for a site would be a high. PDC is Critical. Other DCs are high."

Again this is open to discussion with your user base. IF those 15% of users actually provide a critical service thats would cause a loss of income to the client or expose them to other loss then you have now to make a decission to move it up to an S1 or Critical status.

As you can see, there is no magic formulae.

Believe it or not there are still some companies that class email as a medium to low priority and NOT as critical.
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by:pma111
ID: 38736551
Hanccocka do you have a full and complete list of services with the S1-5 severity ratings just for something to visualise?

>It is not possible for anyone to tell YOU what YOUR client needs to have what priority in an SLA, that is for your Client to advise and for you to help them decide.

I appreciate that I was just after examples out of curiosity to see whats generally considered P1 servers....
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by:pma111
ID: 38736557
Do your S1 servers get more particular care and attention that a S5 server? If so can you define what that is, or is it more when it comes to issues with an S1 server, and that will need to be addressed much quicker than an issue with an S5 server?
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Expert Comment

by:Joseph Moody
ID: 38736564
A S1 server will get an immediate response on a failure or critical error.
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LVL 120
ID: 38736568
Yes, we have lists for all our clients, different clients S1-S5, S1-S12, S1-S20! (these are not publicly available, and are commercially sensitive!)

We can advise our clients, and make suggestions, but some clients have decided email is not S1, because if they really needed access to email, they would use Hotmail, Google etc

and you also need Internet Access for email, no Internet Access, there is no point having it at S1 (externally), and then there are levels of Severities for different Staff, at some clients!
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 38736569
No server that a business relies on should get "More care and attention" than any other. Its all down to how you respond to incidents involving multiple issues.

The main factor affecting point 4 should NOT be "How many users does it affect"  it should ALWAYS be "What is the impact on the business". This can sometimes be gauged by the number of users it affects but not always.

Most clients are financially driven. If a service causes them a loss financially then that goes at the top of the pile.
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by:pma111
ID: 38736575
>>these are not publicly available, and are commercially sensitive

Even the service titles, not accompanied by the severity rating?
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 38736599
To give you an idea of how different clients rate what, have a look at   http://www.connectinglondon.com/it-service-level-agreement-sla

And now consider how that differs from what YOU or your client would expect?

A VPN failure is listed as only Medium for them, for me it could be critical, affecting patient care on a remote site or not allowing a consultant to take part in a consultation.
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LVL 120
ID: 38736605
Yes, sorry, if you want to throw some services at the post, we can possibly give you a guide!

but, it's up to your Client, or you, what you think is important.
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Author Comment

by:pma111
ID: 38736612
Where do general file servers typically fall in your clients S rankings? I.e. where they store there word documents, spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations, scanned images etc
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Author Comment

by:pma111
ID: 38736618
If anyone could point me in the general direction of an IT services "list" that would be an excellent help. I.e. services found in almost any network...
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