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Service recovery plan developed

In January 2019, ITS released the first edition of its Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan (BC/DRP).

Leaders discuss at table
ITS’ Matthew Conley problem solves at the service recovery exercise

The 133-page booklet included 36 service recovery plans for core infrastructure and critical applications that ITS supports.

“The plan is keenly focused on the recovery of infrastructure, yet it represents a leap forward in our disaster preparedness. Our goal is to continue to refine it and apply practical exercises to test our readiness for most situations,” John Mack, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Infrastructure & Operations, said upon the release of the booklet.

Collaborative effort

Mack led the development of the BC/DRP. Brent Caison and Ethan Kromhout contributed significantly to the project, serving as gatekeepers for the quality and level of technical details that went into the service recovery plans. Many ITS staff members provided content and assisted with the coordination of the final BC/DRP booklet.

Each service recovery plan follows a template that captures:

  • Architecture diagram information
  • Scope
  • Prerequisites (dependencies) for the service
  • Infrastructure overview with recovery tiers and direct dependencies
  • Test procedures – controlled switchover
  • Disaster procedures
  • Failback procedures
  • Post mortem requirement

During the year, ITS continued to evaluate the efficacy of the written plan and improved upon the booklet. Tabletop exercises helped identify communications and process gaps in the ITS incident management and disaster recovery processes.

Service recovery plan tested

AVC Dennis Schmidt talks to the training participants
All of ITS’ senior leaders participated in the training exercise

In February 2019, Infrastructure & Operations completed its first tabletop exercise to test the efficacy of the ConnectCarolina Service Recovery Plan.

This was the imaginary scenario: the ITS Manning data center suffered a failure and was inoperable for an extended time. A decision must be made whether a disaster should be declared and whether to switch data operations over to the ConnectCarolina hardware running at ITS Franklin.

50+ engaged in training

More than 50 people participated, representing ITS, Procurement, Finance, Workforce Strategy Equity & Engagement, Payroll and Internal Audit. Matthew Mauzy, Emergency Response Technology Manager, led the training.

“The exercise was well received,” Mauzy said following the training exercise. “All the participants were actively engaged in the discussions. The exercise demonstrated ITS would be successful in recovering services while also identifying opportunities for improvement in coordination, information sharing and process documentation.”

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