Successful Disaster Recovery Testing Over Winter Recess

The Department of Information Technology is pleased to report that our disaster recovery testing was very successful over winter break.

On Thursday, December 26, we moved all key systems from on-premises server rooms in the Kresge Building to our off-site disaster recovery site. We were fully operational within 8 hours, with most servers operational within 5 hours.

Server Room in Kresge Building

One of HSPH’s Server Rooms in the Kresge Building

These key systems included:

  • Network storage (P and S drives)
  • Critical building monitoring and security systems
  • Student information system, financial aid systems, and MyHSPH portal
  • Web application servers powering dozens of administrative applications
  • Database servers
  • Accellion secure file transfer service

From December 26 to December 30, we operated all services from our disaster recovery site with very few issues and with excellent speed.

On Monday, December 30, we successfully reverted all systems back to HSPH, reducing the total time required to 5 hours.

This also represents the first DR test the Department of Information Technology has completed with no employees on site. Staff members worked to move systems remotely, either from their homes or on the road in both California and Florida!

A special thank-you to the server team, Brian Pedranti, Tom Gatton, and Nate Varney, for their hard work during break. Additionally, we thank Caryn D’Agostino of the SIS team for their work with the student systems.  Finally, we thank the HSPH community for their patience on December 26 and December 30 during the maintenance window.

The creation of a disaster recovery and business continuity plan is very important, but actually testing and improving upon that plan is the most critical step toward reducing risk in case of an emergency.