Resiliency Vocabulary

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Please feel free to use the letter-based navigation below to see the definitions of all Enterprise Resiliency related terminology. This page will be gradually updated with more definitions.

  • Alternate Site
    A location, other than the usual facility, that can house critical business functions in the event of a disruption at the usual facility.
  • Assembly Point
    The designated area at which employees, visitors and contractors assemble if evacuated from their building/site.
  • Asynchronous Data Replication
    A process for copying data from one source to another while the application processing continues. This technology is typically used to transfer data over greater distances than that allowed with synchronous data replication.
  • Block Level Storage
    A storage device using block level storage is comprised of raw storage volumes. Applications running on server-based operating systems connect to these volumes and uses them individual hard drives. Block level storage is accessed by servers or applications via a Fibre Channel or iSCSI as the storage device is usually setup within a remote chassis.
  • Business Continuity (BC)
    Business Continuity (BC) is defined as the capability of the organization to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident.
  • Business Continuity Coordinator
    A Business Continuity Management professional who has the overall responsibility for co-coordination of the overall BCM planning programmes including team member training, testing and maintenance of recovery plans.
  • Business Continuity Policy Statement
    A BCM policy sets out an organization’s aims, principles and approach to BCM, what and how it will be delivered, key roles and responsibilities and how BCM will be governed and reported upon.
  • Business Function
    A description of work that is performed to accomplish the specific business requirements of the organization.
  • Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
    A process used to determine the effect of an interruption of business services provided by these key functions. This analysis provides information required to determine objectives and strategies and define recovery and continuity requirements.
  • Call Tree
    A structured cascade process that enables a list of persons, roles and/or organizations to be contacted as a part of information exchange or plan invocation procedure.
  • Change control
    Change control manages any changes made to your network, application, or system. Change control management ensures that no unnecessary changes are made, changes are documented, and that resources are used efficiently to avoid disruptions in operations.
  • Cold Site
    A “recovery” cold site is essentially just data center space, power, and network connectivity that’s ready and waiting for whenever you might need it. If disaster strikes, our engineer and logistical support teams can readily help you move your hardware into our data center and get you back up and running.
  • Colocation
    The process of locating servers and IT equipment to a secure, offsite data center that enhances connectivity and server capabilities.
  • Configuration Management Database (CMDB)
    A configuration management database (CMDB) is a repository that acts as a data warehouse for information technology (IT) installations such as applications, servers, databases, virtual machines (VMs), and hardware such as load balancers and firewalls.
  • Contingency Plan
    A plan to deal with specific set of adverse circumstances.
  • Crisis Management (CM)
    The process of managing an institution’s operations in response to an emergency or event which threatens business continuity. An institution’s ability to communicate with employees, customers, and the media, using various communication devices and methods, is a key component of crisis management.
  • Culture
    Sets the tone for an organization, influencing the consciousness of its people.
  • Data Mirroring
    Data is mirrored and synchronized to a duplicate environment, typically using a vendor software tool
  • Disaster Recovery (DR)
    Disaster Recovery is the process of re-establishing critical IT systems and technology and repairing the damages that result from a business disruption, whether caused by a major disaster or another crisis event. This may include recovering lost data, relocating IT capabilities and restoring IT frameworks communications and physical infrastructure.
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
    Disaster Recovery as a Service is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third-party to provide failover to a cloud computing environment in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe.
  • Disaster Recovery Planning
    Disaster recovery planning is a key element of enterprise resiliency planning that involves creating strategies to get business systems enabled; such as IT, network and other technology systems and infrastructures; back up and running in predictable, test-proven manner and timeframes, in accordance with business expectations.
  • Domain Controller
    The computer that controls access to the business network. Although other servers may authenticate users through a login, only the domain controller manages user privileges within the network—adding new users, changing passwords, assigning group memberships, etc.
  • Emergency Planning
    Development and maintenance of agreed procedures to prevent, reduce, control, mitigate and take other actions in the event of a civil emergency.
  • Emergency Response
    Actions taken in response to a disaster warning or alert to minimize or contain the eventual negative effects, and those taken to save and preserve lives and provide basic services in the immediate aftermath of a disaster impact, for as long as an emergency situation prevails.
  • Enterprise Resiliency
    Enterprise Resiliency is the ability of an organization to be flexible, adaptive and responsive to impacts of significant events, predicted or unforeseen, and at the same time be fortified against those same risks. Enterprise Resiliency is composed of three sections: Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, and Crisis Management.
  • Executive Management
    A person or group of people who directs and controls an organization at the highest level. In larger organizations this might be called the Board, Directors, Executives or Senior Managers. In a small organization, the owner or sole proprietor.
  • External Risk Assessment
    Analysis of the external risks a business may face. External risks include: the economy, natural disasters, public utility outages, changes in legal policies, social factors, technological developments, etc.
  • File Level Storage
    A centralized, highly available, and accessible place to store files and folders.
  • High Availability
    System availability approaching 5-9s (99.999%).
  • Hot Site
    Hot sites are secured buildings equipped to support an entire operation in the case of disaster. Hot sites have all necessary equipment, mission-critical applications, and an up-to-date data backup. More advanced hot sites are big enough to host all staff (i.e. office space, conference rooms, kitchen, etc).
  • I/O device
    An addressable input/output unit, such as a direct access storage device, magnetic tape device, or printer.
  • Infrastructure
    The technology and equipment, and facilities used in BCM activities or impacted by the incident.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
    Where the vendor provides virtualization and manages all of the server hardware, storage and network and the client deals with the OS, server software and application layers.
  • Internal Risk Assessment
    Analysis of the internal risks a business may face. Internal risks include: brand reputation, business stability, organizational structure, quantity and quality of resources, incentive misalignment, etc.
  • Latency
    Latency describes how long it takes for a packet of data to get from point A to point B. Latency can also describe the amount of time it will take to get systems up and running and back to normal function.
  • Local Access Network (LAN)
    A network that is restricted to a specific area. Computers located in this area can share resources such as files and printer access.
  • Logical Unit Number (LUN)
    Logical unit number (LUN) storage is a logical addressing of disk drives. The LUN translates the physical characteristics of a disk drive so that an operating system can "speak" to it. LUNs are common for Storage Area Network (SAN) storage management.
  • Maximum Allowed Downtime MAD/MTOD
    The length of time a business can tolerate system failure until it begins to experience seriously catastrophic losses.
  • Middleware
    Software that connects two or more software Components or Applications.
  • Network Attached Storage (NAS)
    NAS systems usually contain one or more hard disks that are arranged into logical, redundant storage containers much like traditional file servers. NAS provides readily available storage resources and helps alleviate the bottlenecks associated with access to storage devices.
  • Objective
    An overall goal, consistent with the policy that an organization sets for itself.
  • Operational Resilience (OR)
    Ability of an organization, staff, system, telecommunications network, activity or process to absorb the impact of a business interruption, disruption or loss and continue to provide an acceptable level of service.
  • Operational Risk
    Risk that deficiencies in information systems or internal controls will result in unexpected loss.
  • Organization
    A group of people and facilities with an arrangement of responsibilities, authorities, and relationships.
  • Outage
    A period in time when something is not in operation.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
    For developing applications in the cloud where you buy (rent) computer, storage and network services. Compared to SaaS where the vendor does it all, here the client manages/controls the application layer.
  • Procedure
    Specified way to carry out an activity.
  • Process
    A set of interrelated activities which transform inputs into outputs.
  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
    The point in time prior to a disruption (seconds, minutes, hours, days) to which data must be recovered, synchronized and validated before users can resume business operations in an application or business process.
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO)
    The amount of time that a business function can be inactive before serious and unacceptable impacts would be realized. If manual workarounds are possible, the need for technology support to enable processes could be delayed.
  • Replication
    The process of automatically duplicating information from the production environment to a secondary system.
  • Resources
    Assets, people, skills, information, technology (including plant and equipment), premises, and supplies and information (whether electronic or not) that an organization has to have available to use, when needed, in order to operate and meet its objectives
  • Risk
    Combination of the probability of an event and its consequence.
  • Risk Acceptance
    A management decision to take no action to mitigate the impact of a particular risk.
  • Risk Analysis
    The quantification of threats to an organization and the probability of them being realized.
  • Risk Assessment
    A formal but often subjective process of risk identification, risk analysis, and risk evaluation.
  • Risk Mitigation
    Implementation of measures to deter specific threats to the continuity of business operations, and/or respond to any occurrence of such threats in a timely and appropriate manner. Activities taken to reduce the severity or consequences of an emergency.
  • Server Cluster
    A server cluster is a group of independent servers running the same operating system that work together to provide high availability of services. The cluster can be viewed as a single system that can redirect resources and reposition workloads from one server to another should any server within the cluster experience a failure.
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA)
    An agreement between a service provider and a customer defining the scope, quality and timeliness of service delivery.
  • Single Point of Failure (SPoF)
    A term used to describe a unique hardware component, data path or source of a service, activity, and/or process. There is no alternate component and a loss of that element could lead to a failure of a critical function.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
    A way to get vendor hosted applications. SaaS vendors take care of it all from application layer thru to the network layer and provide a service very similar to traditional ASP vendors.
  • Storage Area Network (SAN)
    A Storage Area Network (SAN ) is a high-speed network of storage devices that connects storage devices with servers. Any application running on a networked server can access the SAN. SAN can provide block level storage for any application looking to access it.
  • Supply Chain
    The linked processes that begins with the acquisition of raw material and extends through the delivery of products or services to the end user across the modes of transport. The supply chain may include suppliers, vendors, manufacturing facilities, logistics providers, internal distribution centres, distributors, wholesalers, and other entities that lead to the end user.
  • Table Top Exercise
    A facilitated drill incorporating live play and realistic situations with tools for capturing and tracking issues and resolutions for improving the Business Continuity plan.
  • Testing
    Evaluation of a resource to validate the achievement of objectives and aims.
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
    Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is virtualization technology that hosts a desktop operating system on a centralized server in a data center.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)
    A network where data is transferred over the Internet using security features preventing unauthorized access.
  • Vital Records
    Any information, documents or data deemed essential for recovery from a disaster or major incident.
  • Walk-through
    A walk-through is a process whereby BC team members carry out the sequence of the recovery tasks defined in the BC plan. It is also called a Desktop or Tabletop Exercise.
  • Warm Site
    A warm site allows you to pre-install your hardware and pre-configure your bandwidth needs. Then, if disaster strikes, all you have to do is load your software and data to restore your business systems.
  • Wide Access Network (WAN)
    A network—such as the Internet—that is not restricted to any specific location, although it may be confined within a geographic zone.
  • Work Area Recovery (WAR)
    Work Area Recovery is the discipline focused on the resiliency of the people and business processes that are the core of any successful business. The focus during a business disruption is on how an enterprise moves the people, the process and the phones so that services can continue.
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