IT Disaster Recovery Consulting

Eagle Rock Consulting / Services / IT Disaster Recovery Consulting

Overview

In developing a modern disaster recovery approach, ever-shrinking recovery time objectives (RTO) for business critical applications like email and Active Directory, necessitate faster backups than what’s possible with traditional methods. Before you can even get to discussions on in-sourcing, outsourcing, cloud and cross site recovery strategies, you need a disaster recovery solution which can meet the recovery time and point objectives of your business. Eagle Rock focuses on the six general key areas of a Disaster Recovery Program when implementing a solution:

  • Disaster Recovery Infrastructure
  • Disaster Recovery Documentation
  • Disaster Recovery Testing and Planning
  • The Configuration Management Database (CMDB)
  • Program Governance
  • Data Center Strategies

Focusing on these six key areas, Eagle Rock can help you implement a comprehensive Disaster Recovery Test Program by conducting recovery tests of all of your applications, infrastructure and data centers which will help guide you in building an overall mature and "Evergreen" Disaster Recovery Program.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

It takes significant amounts of time and money to implement a business resiliency solution and alternate data centers are built to house infrastructure (that supports critical applications and data). Typically, data centers are configured with redundant power, cooling and other facility infrastructure along with the significant IT investment in technology so this is quite the undertaking. When this implementation is complete, the corporation generally feels confident that its business could recover in the event of a disaster.

Step one is getting the required funding to support the initial IT Disaster Recovery project(s) which can be tricky. Eagle Rock has assisted many companies in collecting the data required to do the cost analysis and codifying the requirements for various scopes or solutions. A structured detailed analysis will first organize the requirements into tiers that can be aligned to different recovery solutions with different price points.

If an IT Disaster Recovery Solution is already in existence, the Eagle Rock Solution will assess its effectiveness by the following activities:

  • Review of the policy and procedures that govern IT Disaster Recovery
  • Review of the detailed application requirements RTO/RPO and any solution architecture documentation
  • Discussions with the infrastructure leads regarding the solution options that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely)
  • Identify any gaps between requirements/solutions and other recovery concerns
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the program to make sure the organization developed a coordinated approach

If an IT Disaster Recovery Solution needs to be built from the ground up, the Eagle Rock Solution will implement the following program enhancement activities:

Program Launch
  • Provides a blended team of Disaster Recovery specialists to provide Disaster Recovery planning, testing support and project management
  • Define Disaster Recovery roles, teams and responsibilities and involve the business by also defining Business Continuity roles, teams and responsibilities
  • Incorporate regulatory (e.g. HIPAA, SOX, FINRA, etc.) and/or audit requirements into the Disaster Recovery program
  • Implement a CMDB and/or enhance the CMDB data based on a restructured and/or new recovery tiering system (e.g. Tier 0, Tier 1, Tier 2 , Tier 3, Tier 4) for applications
  • Define testing requirements built off of the new/restructured recovery tiers
Program Build
  • Conduct review of key infrastructure systems (e.g. DNS)
  • Lead testing activities with Business Continuity teams assisting to enhance testing:
    • Perform larger tests by grouping more applications together based on tier
    • Conduct timed volume infrastructure tests (e.g. SRM)
    • Applications fail over and stay in DR data center
    • Full testing to validate data center outage scenarios
  • Lead planning activities with Business Continuity teams assisting to expand planning:
    • Identify hardware gaps between Disaster Recovery and Production and develop remediation schedule
    • Roll out Disaster Recovery Plans
    • Promote and expand the deployment of advanced Disaster Recovery solutions
  • Establish Governance
    • Advanced reporting and metrics with executives and steering committees in mind
    • Develop Disaster Recovery policy
    • Develop Disaster Recovery public disclosure documents

Your Disaster Recovery Program over a predetermined and managable timeline:

Program Maturity Level Progress

At whatever stage you are in the process, you need command of the detail and clear communication channels within the organization to get the Disaster Recovery solution where it needs to be.

Application to Server Mapping

The application to server map is the heart of your Disaster Recovery planning tool suite and is a required step in developing your IT Disaster Recovery strategies. It is also a prerequisite to doing a proper BIA and should be a focus during any organization’s early stages of establishing a Resiliency Program.

Discovering that your environment has changed since you started and looking at how to evergreen the process is where you need to look once you have provided the necessary information needed for your first deployment project.

Application to Server Mapping

The Eagle Rock Solution mapping for your applications to their servers:

  1. Identify the infrastructure leads and who is keeping track of them in various documentation
  2. Define the data points that you want to track (also be realistic and focus on the data that can be gathered quickly)
  3. Start with what is readily available and start building your database
  4. Make sure to look at the various tools which can support this effort

Implementation Management

A well-planned business resiliency program will always be looking to improve and consists of multiple implementation projects designed to enhance the overall resiliency of the corporation. DR solutions can be implemented at an application, farm or data center level. Successful installations may require either Subject Matter Expertise or a certain mindset.

The Eagle Rock Solution implementing management:

A well-managed implementation project consists of the following activities:

  • Properly defined team with resource requirements clearly stated
  • A documented project plan that prioritizes tasks, identifies interdependencies between tasks, and assigns resources to each task
  • Regularly scheduled meetings to discuss progress being made and any issues that have arisen
  • Structured status reports provided to the program management office and/or the program sponsor(s)

Migration Planning

Moving a data center is a daunting task for any size organization and one of the main reasons is that it does not happen frequently. Careful planning and a good partner are the two things to look after when migrating data centers.

The Eagle Rock Solution to planning a migration:

There are three general phases that you need to follow when planning to move your data center:

  • Phase 1 – Discovery and Strategy
  • Phase 2 – Target Preparation and Transition Plan
  • Phase 3 – Implementation

Eagle Rock can fill various roles in a data center move and has also played an advisory role on large scale projects. Eagle Rock has seasoned project managers and migration specialists that will be able to assist you with this task.

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