Thursday, 13 January 2005: 9:30 AM
A secure, low-cost, networked Continuation of Operations standby system for an enterprise application
Continuation of operations and the search for a solution to minimize downtime when system disruptions occur within software, network or the hardware domain is a challenge to managing enterprise level applications. Network security and backups are a first line of defense to provide the kind of reliability expected from organization-wide applications. It is, however, possible that systems could be destroyed, and the communication and transport infrastructure compromised by, for instance, a natural disaster, to such an extent that rebuilding the application in the same location might not be possible. Even if rebuilding the application at the same location is possible, network connectivity and the logistics of transporting the backup tapes to the site could be a problem.
The OAR financial Data Management System (FDMS), a core component of the OAR Science Management Information System, is an OAR-wide enterprise level application that is accessed by OAR operational units throughout the country. Although important, this system is not mission-critical and with this in mind we decided to develop a low cost, low maintenance, standby system for FDMS. This low cost standby system replicates all important data, program files and information on a low cost file server in a separate physical location. This paper will discuss the design considerations, testing, implementation, advantages and drawbacks of this low-cost standby system.