• Subject: RE: Pandemonium at Hot-sites
  • From: Glenn Birnbaum <gbirnba@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 17:15:53 -0700

Frankly, the restore of the AS400 (from Weekly/Daily backups, etc.) is the EASY 
PART of disaster recovery.  A good AS400 administrator will be able to recover 
the AS400, assuming good backups were created in the first place.  Practice 
will make it less difficult and more streamlined, and is a GOOD THING to do.  
But THE HARD PART is getting new facilities, office/desktop equipment, creating 
the new network connections, communicating to the employees, recovering data 
that never got into the computers yet (office mail, hardcopy, hand written 
notes), deciding what gets attention first, etc. etc.  Not to mention, where is 
all the money to do this coming from???

The question I like to ask is this:  If on the way to work, you hear on the 
radio that your company's headquarters or office buildings have burned down, do 
you know what actions are expected of you next?????  If you do, then someone 
has at least commmunicated the first steps and early decisions that a DR plan 
should address.  If you don't, then shame on your company, and you better hope 
that the disaster waits until you CAN answer that question.

I don't mean to trivalize the AS400 portion of the DR plan, but the AS400 
Backup/Recovery manual does a good job of describing several strategies that 
work as far as getting a usable restore to the same or different AS400.  It's 
the predictable part of the recovery.  The scary part is all the other stuff 
that varies, depending upon the nature of the disaster.  A detailed 
communication plan for all departments/employees at the ompany is, in my 
opinion, the heart of a good DR plan. Who calls who to declare the disaster? 
Who gets the money to buy stuff? How do employees find out where to go, what 
phone numbers to call, etc???  There's a lot of stuff to thing about and 
coordinate and a lot of it has nothing to do with computers.  Remember, it's a 
DR plan for the company, not just the computers!

Glenn (hope I don't have a disaster) Birnbaum


                -----Original Message-----
                From:   Peter H. O'Connor [mailto:PHOC@compuserve.com]
                Sent:   Tuesday, September 28, 1999 3:53 PM
                To:     MIDRANGE-L@MIDRANGE.COM
                Subject:        Pandemonium at Hot-sites

                Hundreds of companies were forced to go to Hot-Sites by
Hurricane Floyd. 
                Now, they had to recover their systems.  Unfortunately, 85%
of these
                companies had a 2nd disaster at the Hot-site; their systems
were not
                rebuild correctly.  Most companies (75% of the 85%) did NOT
know that they
                had a problem until users notified them or things did not
work.  Disaster
                Recovery plans went up in smoke.  Pandemonium was every
where. Hours of
                wasted Time and Money!   Raid/Mirroring etc. did not help at
all.  It only
                proves that even if you have mirroring or raid you are not
100% safe!  
                Many companies have/had a false sense of security because of
mirroring and
                raid.  Ask some of the companies in SC, NC and NJ.  

                Disaster Recovery Planning is mandatory.  Companies that go
to a Hot-site
                for testing after doing an option 21 are only fooling
themselves.  That is
                NOT a way to test.    How many of these 100s AS/400s just
had an option21
                before going to a hot-site?  A true D/R test should be
unannounced.  A D/R
                plan should be tested as if a real disaster happened.  When
you are in a
                row boat is NOT the time to asking yourself if you have all
the material
                need for the hot-site!   Start planning.  Learn from others
mistakes.  Some
                day it might happen to your company.  Start thinking about a
plan, testing
                a plan now!

                Peter H. O'Connor
                PAE Inc.
                978-744-8612
                www.paeinc.com
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