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Automated vs. manual failover

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Tell us what you think about Mike Talon's advice about choosing between automated and manual failover systems, as featured in the Jan. 14 Disaster Recovery e-newsletter. Which system has your organization implemented and why?

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Plan never tested?

by JGlennCRP In reply to Automated vs. manual fail ...

Mike Talon's article (DON'T OVERLOOK FAILOVER SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION), as usual, is well worth reading. The words that got my attention were:

"The research team in charge of the project had forgotten to tell the operations staff about the setup of the Remote Availability (RA) systems."

Had the disaster recovery plan ever been tested everyone would (should) have known about the backup.

No test = no plan.

No plan maintenance = no plan.

John Glenn, CRP
Certified Business ContinuityPlanner

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Actually. . .

by MikeTalonNYC In reply to Plan never tested?

This was a research project, these systems were not running production data-systems just yet, and therefore they had not become part of the regular maintenance systems.

They were being monitored for the project, which is why they showed up on themonitors.

Mike Talon

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Auto vs Manual, or Somewhere in Between

by FrankAE In reply to Automated vs. manual fail ...

There's an implication in the article that one has to choose between automated or manual recovery. IMHO, the best option usually lies somewhere in between. One can easily automate discovery of a failure and perhaps switching over to hosts running at a remote location, but--unless one has implemented state recovery of individual jobs or sessions--automated switching of an active session (or job, or application, or whatever you call it on your particular platform) is an altogether harder task, usually requiring some manual intervention to recover the data completely. Then there's the issue of how to handle recovery when running high volume batch applications, where perhaps some transactions have disappeared into the ether....

Automatedrecovery is not rocket science, but it takes a very serious allocation of resources to do it right. I almost always advise clients to implement manual recovery first, then automate processes after they have fine tuned the manual steps.

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Auto vs Manual? Is it mission critical?

by David O In reply to Automated vs. manual fail ...

I work in a Broadcast IT Systems arena for a major network. In broadcasting all systems are redundant because you never want to be off the air. The same rational applies to data and applications. You would like them to always be available. Thereare three questions:
1> Is the programming or data or application mission critical? Are we dead in the water without it?
2> What are our legal & ethical responsibilities to our clients?
Once you've decided to protect the item:
3> How long canyou be without it?" If you're dead in the water can you wait to put up a new sail or do you want a second engine to automatically kick in? How mission critical is it to keep moving?
If you need instantaneous backup then you want it automated. Otherwise manual is fine and less costly to implement.
Never in the decision making process lose sight of the down side of automatic switching. Sometimes it switches even when there isn't a verifiable or duplicatable problem. Sometimes it doesn't switch when there is a problem. The latter may occurr when an unforseen situation arises that doesn't fall into the switching schema.

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