Subject: IT Disaster Recovery Policy
Group: Institutional
Approved by: Vice-President, Administration
Approval date: January 23 , 2008
Effective date: January 23, 2008     
Administered by: Director of Computing Services


1 — INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that if our computing services operations are significantly disrupted we can restore normal operations as quickly as possible. To be able to restore normal operations it is necessary to have access to backups of all data, a record of all hardware and software, the ability to acquire new hardware quickly, the ability to rebuild any damaged network infrastructure and the knowledge of how to restore data and services.

2 — AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION

The system that backs up all University data is located in the communications room in the Crabtree Building.

The following information is stored both in the server room in the Bennett Building and in this communications room and will be updated once each year:

i) a complete hardware and software inventory of each system;
ii) copies of the operating system and all programs;
iii) instructions on how to backup each system;
iv) instructions on how to partially and completely restore each system;
v) a list of Computing Services staff with home and cell phone numbers;
vi) a list of all hardware vendors for computer systems and network equipment;
vii) a list of contractors who can be used to restore electrical power and the network infrastructure;
viii) documentation on all support contracts;
ix) license information for all software that requires licenses; and
x) detailed instructions on how to activate a Mount Allison Web page at Mount Saint Vincent University.

3 — HANDLING SPECIFIC EVENTS

This section documents the steps that will be taken to handle specific events that would significantly disrupt computing services at the University.

The Server Room in the Bennett Building is Destroyed
All major services provided by Computing Services would cease. New servers would be installed in the following order of priority:

i) Domain Name Service (DNS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), since no new services will be possible until these services are reestablished;
ii) Datatel, since most of our administrative systems and processes are dependent upon the Datatel software and its restoration will permit us to register students, collect fees, pay vendors, and so on;
iii) LDAP and e-mail, so that basic communications can be reestablished;
iv) web services, since most of the information required by students, faculty and staff resides on our Web server;
v) LMS since it is used by many faculty as their course management system;
vi) file and print services, to provide access to shared files and the ability to print on networked printers; and
vii) the library catalogue system.
 
The University has two spare servers which are located in the communications room in the Crabtree Building. These servers will permit the first three services listed above, and a minimal website, to be reinstalled within several days.

A full web site along with the remaining services on the above list will require the acquisition and installation of new servers which can be completed within several weeks depending on the availability of the servers.

New servers will also be placed in this communications room. It may be necessary to supply mechanical cooling and additional electrical service, but that can also be done within days if necessary. This facility can only serve as a temporary location since it is limited in space. As soon as possible the reconstruction of a proper server room will be initiated.
 
The Communications Room in the Crabtree Building is Destroyed
All fibre optic cabling runs to network equipment that is located in this communications room. Thus, the destruction of this room would render most connections inoperable.

Either the fibre would have to be lengthened and re-terminated in another location within the building, or new fibre would have to be pulled to a temporary location in another building. Since local firms can pull, lengthen and reconnect the fibre, this can be done within one to two weeks.

A new central router would be purchased and installed. This could be done within several weeks depending on the availability of the router.
 
Room B1A or Room B1B of the Barclay Building is Destroyed
All telephone and Internet services would cease since these rooms contain fibre optic cables leading to telephony equipment owned by Eastlink and to our Internet router.

The Internet fibre would be re-terminated in the Crabtree Building and a new router purchased.

See the section on telephone services below.
 
Bigelow House is Destroyed
In this event, the following buildings would have no network connections: Athletics, Hunton, Bigelow, Thornton, Edwards, Bennett, and Trueman.

If all fibres were still operational a spare switch (we have one on campus) would be installed.

If the Fibre optic cables are destroyed as well, new fibre will have to be installed and terminated in another building.

If the telephones are out see the section on telephone services below.
 
The Facilities Management Building is Destroyed
In this event, the following buildings would have no network connections: Campbell, Windsor, Fawcett, Jennings and Harper.

If all fibres were still operational a spare switch (we have one on campus) would be installed.

If the Fibre optic cables are destroyed as well, new fibre will have to be installed and terminated in another building.

If the telephones are out see the section on telephone services below.
 
Any Other Building is Destroyed
All connectivity to and from that building would be inoperable. Temporary access to systems could be supplied by wireless technology until wired connectivity is restored.
 
Telephone Services are Lost due to Damage to a Building
A building that loses telephone service will have a “Cornerstone” unit installed in the building to be served by coax cable from the nearest street, with Centennial Hall being given first priority.

If a cornerstone installation is expected to take more than one day the following people should receive cell phones:

  • President
  • Vice Presidents
  • Deans
  • Directors
  • Network Manager
  • Applications Manager
  • User Services Manager