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Up In Smoke

Case Study by Jeffrey Miller & Brock Steinbrink Rebuilding After an IT Disaster

Brock Steinbrink

on 24 February 2012

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Transcript of Up In Smoke

Within 48 hours of the fire, WWU hired BELFOR International
Some computers in the building escaped heat and water damage
Cleaning procedure was a labor intensive process
Within 30 days all computers cleaned & in service
Final cost of cleanup & repair: $4.25 million

Western Washington University
Approximately 12,000 students
Seven colleges & one graduate school
US News & World Report -
Top 10 Public University
College of Business Administration (CBA) - about 10% of students at WU (1,200 FTE)
CBA graduates 600 bachelor degrees & 50 MBA degrees a year
CBA employes about 100 faculty & staff
Up In
Smoke Recovery & Repair Setting the Stage Details of the Disaster Case Study by
Jeffrey Miller &
Brock Steinbrink How They Recovered Moved Mitchell Hall offices to Admin Center
Moved summer classes to other buildings
15 computers purchases but not installed
20 notebook computers from MIS program's assigned to faculty who couldn't use home computers
Negotiated with other colleges to house some of the CBA data on other servers (here & there) % of Disaster Events (out of 429 events) Days of Disruption
(minimum - maximum Natural Event -
i.e. Earthquake, severe weather, etc. IT Failure -
i.e. Hardware, Software, etc. 0 - 85 23% 1 - 61 (from Up In Smoke Case Study) 28% Disaster Category 16% 7% 7% 5% 3% 1 - 20 1 - 97 0 -17 1 - 124 1 - 204 Power Outage -
i.e. Loss of Power, etc. Disruptive Act -
i.e. Intentional human acts, bomb etc. Water Leakage -
i.e. Pipe leaks, etc. Fire -
i.e. Electrical or natural fires, etc. IT Move/Upgrade -
i.e. Data center moves, CPU upgrades, etc. Steps to Disaster Planning Organize a disaster recovery planning team Assess key threats to the organization Develop disaster-related policies and procedures Provide education & training to employees Ongoing planning management July 3, 2002 Campus Security notices smoke coming from Mitchell Hall and notifies the Fire Department
Fire destroys much of Mitchell Hall
14 of 18 CBA servers were housed in Mitchell Hall
Fire destroyed IS infrastructure for CBA
Fire completely destroyed 13 out of the 14 servers
External Internal Helpful Harmful Strengths SWOT Analysis Helpful Harmful External Internal Opportunities Weaknesses Threats How They Recovered Some data saved by automatic bi-monthly backups
Some websites restored from backups on professors home computers
Other portions had to be recreated
All website restored & databases entries recreated by August 1st
Reopened Mitchell Hall in Mid-September Sources of System Failures Software bugs and errors
Hardware or facility failures
Poor input data quality Analysis of WWU's Disaster Facility Failures
Technology Failures
Disaster Recovery Plan
Disaster Recovery Plan WWU College of Business didn't have a DRP
Didn't conduct business impact analysis or risk assessments
Didn't develop strategic outline for recovery
Didn't review onsite and offsite backup and recovery procedures
Facility Failures Server room undersized

Fire suppression system outdated

Server racks not fire protective

Lack of strategic planning by locating servers in same room
Air circulation and cooling System was manually activated Fire could have been contained to one rack Technology Failures Data backups Incompatiable with servers used for recovery
Backups were not done for all data on servers
Only bi-weekly backups stored off-site Website not backed up
IT architecture not reviewed to maximize performance
CBA didn't collaborate with WWU IT department DRP Solutions Conduct a formal analysis of risks and impacts to business
Create a disaster plan and test it
Periodic maintenance of the plan IT infrastructure Client/Server

Merge CBA IT with OITS

Cloud and Mobile computing Conclusion Disaster Recovery Planning is valuable towards a quick recovery
Western Washington University's "downtime" could have been drastically reduced if a disaster recovery plan was in place
Organizations cannot plan for every scenario, however, Disaster Recovery Plans help reduce the risk of disruptions to operations significantly Questions?
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