An economical DR plan – a case study

network2This is a review of a disaster recovery case study I did in an enterprise storage class in grad school:

I have found a case study of an economical DR plan that contains a bi-coastal partnership between two universities. Bowdoin College in Brunswick Maine had partnered with Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and created a plan to host one another’s DR sites. The recovery sites are identical and linked with a high speed VPN. Each recovery site is an active asynchronous secondary site: “If a disaster or outage hits either school, the hosting campus will initialize the other’s hot site and run it for the duration of the emergency” (Cox, 2007). The secondary sites will be operated for the duration of the disaster. Each site will maintain the recovery systems that have been purchased by the other. During a disaster, the administrators would remotely administer the recovery site – a logical data center. Such systems as emergency web sites would be in operation continuously, as well as some DNS elements and a program that distributes an emergency notification through various content delivery systems such as pager, IM, cell phone, and email.
According to the CIO’s at each location have discussed, it would be more affordable to do this within similar organizational environments. To keep cost down, virtualization was implemented at the start – less hardware was needed which also will conserve energy cost. With two organizations working together each could share expertise which was mutually beneficial, and two organizations with similar infrastructure would also be beneficial to the initial design of the recovery site architecture, further reducing cost. Another caveat is that the collaboration between organizations would produce an ‘informal help desk where managers and staff can reach out for advice, brainstorm and troubleshoot problems with their colleagues a continent away.”I can send an instant message to Dan and say ‘have you seen this [problem]?’ and he IM’s back ‘we saw this three weeks ago and here’s what we did.. .’” (Cox, 2007).
Most vital to this methodology is relationship-building between the two organizations, as your data is moving off campus and into another organization.

Cox, John. “The case of the great hot-site swap; Colleges create a bicoastal disaster-recovery plan by hosting each others hot sites.(Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine). .” Network World. (August 3, 2007): 1. Academic OneFile. Gale. BCR Regis University. 14 May 2009