DR Man Episode 1: The Call

DR Man Episode 1: The Call image DR Man ep1DR Man Episode 1: The CallThe DR (disaster recovery) Man receives an intriguing call and suits up to save the day.

Downtime is almost always unexpected, and sometimes the cause of downtime is not immediately obvious. When faced with an unexplained problem, administrators often turn to Internet searches, community forums, and frantic scrambling. After all, not everyone has DR Man’s number in their contact list. What do you do when a critical system goes down and the solution isn’t obvious?

In this first episode we are introduced to The DR Man, a not-so-average IT good guy who lives on the beck and call of administrators in trouble. When the call comes in, we learn that someone has an application outage and they’re in risk of missing their service level agreements (SLA’s) with the business owners. While we don’t know how long things have been down for, or how long the “allowable” downtime is, we do know things will become unacceptable very soon.

An interesting aspect of disaster recovery planning is that, contrary to popular belief, some level of downtime is acceptable. It’s not because businesses can do without business services, but because business owners agree to various service level agreements based on the potential cost of preventing downtime. With enough money and resources to throw at a problem, the risk of downtime can be greatly reduced.

We all know that businesses don’t have unlimited funds for BCDR, so it’s up to IT and the business owners to decide together how much downtime is acceptable based on the cost of the downtime and the cost of protection against it. Each tier with its own service level agreement, business applications are typically classified into one of the three to four “tiers” of criticality. While downtime is still bound to happen sometime, at least you won’t have angry bosses breathing down your neck when things don’t come back within a stated SLA’s.

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