Disaster Discovery

My heart goes out to those affected by superstorm Sandy. I cannot imagine how devastating it
must be to see the destruction.

When something like this happens, my MVS Systems Programmer thoughts later turn to
disaster recovery, and I wonder, how did the affected companies weather the...weather. We've
all done the twice a year DR tests, with varying degrees of success, and certainly we've
come a long way from the days of full volume backups to 3480. Whereas once it was
unthinkable, replication is now common, and with it we have made astonishing strides in our
ability to recover.  Don’t you ever wonder if you really could though? I worry that I may have MVS up, but the network isn’t working, or working enough to get users to my systems.

The ramifications of I/T outages on businesses is breathtaking, from financial to brand
decline to legal liabilities. We learned from Katrina that when disasters occur, people really don’t care about work. They are going to take care of their families first. So things need to be more and more automated, vigorously tested and documented.

What am I getting at here? MVS Program Manager Ed Jaffe stated at the height of the storm,
"these events remind us that our society takes mainframe resiliency for granted". He makes
an important point. We need to continually extol the virtues of our platform; namely, RAS.
Reliability, Availability, Serviceability. Sometimes we ourselves even take it for granted. Can you even imagine building a system, putting it in production, and not having a complete backup scenario?

Have you ever heard a recording say 'IPL your mainframe before calling the help desk'? Not
likely. But you hear it frequently on the Windows platform.

RAS is one of the basic tenets of our platform, and IBM has been firmly behind the concept since the beginning.
SHARE has also been leading the way in I/T since the beginning, and this topic is no different. 
At SHARE 78 held in Anaheim, California in 1992, session M028, the Automated Remote Site
Recovery Task Force presented seven tiers of recoverability, which were ranked based on the
recovery method and recovery time. (Footnote: This info derived from http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0057.html?Open)

Those tiers became the basis for an entire industry, and are still in use today. Beware though, they came from a (gasp) Mainframe!

Your link today is to online magazine DR Journal http://www.drj.com/ (It does require a free subscription).

Till next time,

Mary Anne

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z/OSSYgirl

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