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Availability: ensuring failure-free SSP service

The importance of checking and re-checking your SSP's backup/recovery plan.

By Linda Gail Christie

Sure, natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, and fires must always be considered as candidates for wreaking havoc with business-critical computer systems. But in reality, SSP availability is much more likely to be threatened by an interruption in electrical service or Internet connectivity.

Dr. Eric Schmidt, CTO and Sr. VP of professional services for EverGreen Data Continuity says that after an interruption event, moving communications to an alternate site is the messiest issue by far. Although it's difficult to test your ability to move operations to an alternate site, if your SSP's disaster recovery plan remains untested, the plan remains unproven. "In my experience, you can expect the first test of the recovery plan to fail and the second test to improve to about 50% correct. So, make sure your SLA provides for periodically testing your alternate storage site by redirecting traffic to it."

Schmidt continued, "Also, make sure that both you and your SSP have an aggressive cross-training program that ensures more than one person is familiar with your applications, service, storage, backup and recovery procedures."

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About the author: Storage management tips are written by Linda Gail Christie, a contributing editor based in Tulsa, Okla.

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