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Back in the day of Big Iron

By ebrann ·
The company had 3 big IBM systems in the Data Center. The company decided to have a simulated Data Center catastrophe to test their backup and recover abilities. The Data Center personnel went around to all of the IBM user locations and left notes explaining that there was a simulated fire in the Data Center, but all computer functions were fully operational.

About 4:00 in the morning the simulation got underway with key personnel being called in to a disaster center to figure out what each step should be to recover the Data Center. I was the System Manager for 4 VAX-11/780 systems so was not a part of the disaster team. Although they did coordinate a plan to use the VAXs to send and receive data to other corporate IBM Data Centers.

The simulation was going along fine until about 9:00am when the electrical substation powering the Data Center had a meltdown. Now the Data Center was down for real. Of course we told all the users that it was just a simulation. Now management opened up a second disaster center to cope with the real disaster.

Me, I just went about my job for the day because my VAXs were at different locations throughout the facility with different power distribution feeds. Because the VAXs communicated with the rest of the corporate network through the IBM Data Center, that was down and the only problem my users had. In 48 hours, we did get temporary power wired in to the Data Center and the VAXs were back on line.

Eventually both disaster centers worked through their problems and went home. The moral of this story is be careful what you ?wish? for.

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This should not deter people from doing fire drills.

by stress junkie In reply to Back in the day of Big Ir ...

Clearly things can go wrong during a fire drill. In this case it doesn't seem that the simulation caused very much trouble when a real disaster happened. More important is your last line. I would hate to see people put off doing fire drills just because a real disaster can happen coincident with the simulation.

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