When Disaster Strikes

It isn’t a matter of if, but when.

Something is going to go wrong and you are going to be left holding a bucket to a quickly sinking ship. In that time of crisis, it would have been nice to have some sort of disaster recovery plan laid out so that you don’t have to think as much when your tech is on the line.

That is what I am working on right now.

Here is what I have mapped out as our initial run at this:

  • Everything will be stored on our college’s Google Drive account. We have a folder shared among all of the employees in our department and we can share the Disaster Recovery folder will additional people if there is a need.
  • The main document will be a spreadsheet outlining the names of the servers, what area the server is located, what rack they are on, IP addresses, administrative user names (passwords will not be housed in here for obvious reasons), operating system version, what services are currently running on those machines, a link to another document with more information for that machine, what order the servers should be brought back, and then a comment field for any additional funny business.
  • Additional documents will be created for each server. This document will outline any additional information needed for installation of the operating systems, settings, software installation, and other stuff that might be important to know.
  • A document outlining the network topology for the campus.
  • List of emergency contacts for various systems and also contacts for various important vendors (like Comcast, our telecom, etc.).

The idea is to have a document with a strong overview of the entire server infrastructure and then further information if that is needed for anything. The harder part will be keeping these documents updated for the future.

We will handle the passwords some other way (yet to be determined) and then make sure that the people who need to know about this know about it.

Even if some disaster doesn’t strike us in the near term, it will still be good to just take a look at how things are setup currently and see if there are any areas where we can improve our tolerances without upsetting too many people.

It is never a bad thing to be vigilant.