Organizations of all types are concerned about maintaining and recovering IT infrastructure in the event of disaster. IT is central to their business functions and the cost of disruption too significant to overlook. Preparing and testing disaster recovery and business continuity plans, and developing systems to promote IT survivability and speed recovery are, therefore, activities increasingly central to the CIO.
A host of services exists to support realization of the typical DR/BC plan. Offsite data storage, mirrored data centers, warm and cold recovery sites, and redundant WAN services are all readily available in the commercial marketplace. NYSERNet's own Business Continuity Center - similar to these, but exceptional in its roots as a non-profit collaboration - is fundamental to many institutions' continuity strategies.
More challenging to address is the need for personnel ready to undertake key technical responsibilities at a moment's notice should staff become incapacitated. The ideal substitute is technically qualified, knowledgeable about the institution's network, and implicitly trusted - rare qualities to find external to any institution.
NYSERNet's Network Management Continuity Service (NMCS) offers members a means of ensuring continuity of this vital function. NMCS leverages the knowledge and experience of NYSERNet's network team, combining it with their familiarity with members' network infrastructure and the unparalleled level of trust that exists between NYSERNet and its members to offer essential surrogate network management capabilities, including:
- continuous network monitoring and break-fix service/problem resolution
- network configuration management
- encrypted off-site storage of critical network information
- network vendor management and escalation management
NMCS enrollment begins with a needs assessment. NYSERNet staff members meet with representatives of the subscribing institution to review NMCS features and scope, ensuring fit with the institution's needs. Together they perform a comprehensive review of the organization's network design, review network documentation and procedures, and design a subscriber-provided training program for the NMCS staff.
Once training is complete and the subscriber has provided NYSERNet with the necessary router/switch configuration files, network diagrams, databases, and contact information - all of which is stored securely at NYSERNet's data center - enrollment is complete and NMCS is primed. It takes just a call to NYSERNet's NOC by authorized personnel to signal NYSERNet to assume network management responsibility.
Annual review meetings and semi-annual testing - included in the three-year term agreement - ensure that all network documentation stays current and that the NMCS is ready should it ever become necessary to deploy.
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