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General Chat Thread, Generally depressing thoughts in General; Could you restore your network ( and how long would it take ) if your whole site was completely destroyed ...
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    Generally depressing thoughts

    Could you restore your network ( and how long would it take ) if
    your whole site was completely destroyed ??

    M

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    I could restore it - but I wouldn't be able to put a time on how long it would take to put back in place. I would imagine whatever figure I wanted it to be I would need to add a few more days.

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Have wondered whether I could replicate my DC to a Virtual PC on my home PC via VPn...

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    Your school ought to have a disaster recovery plan in place with details of who would do what in the event of disaster. This will cover not just IT but everything that might need to be done.

    it might be that if fire destroyed the whole school you'd simply abandon it and start again but it would certainly be useful to have data backed up somewhere off site.

    You can see our code of practice here and there's a useful document here on how to start planning what you do in the event of disaster.

    You almost certainly can't think of everything that could go wrong but you can think of general stuff and then look at individual services and how you would restore them and then think about which are the most important (and this needs to be done in negotiation with others), which depend on other things and so on.

    ITIL has some good stuff to say about this - eg a quick google found this which also might give you some ideas.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    We could restore it all, but it would take time.

    Restoring all the services alone will take a while plus you will have to setup clients and the network hardware again.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Could you restore your network ( and how long would it take ) if
    your whole site was completely destroyed ??
    It's incredibly difficult to quantify a whole site. Presumably by using the term 'network' you mean absolutely everything? Servers, workstations, printers, switches?

    I suppose if you had no backups/images whatsoever then you could be looking at weeks 'potentially'. If you're just talking servers, then I would say a few hours (AD, DHCP, DNS and any other services), then data on top. It really depends how much there is to restore. As for workstations, it depends on the size of the image you're deploying I suppose. Obviously machines with 5GB images will be done much quicker than if I was deploying 20GB images.

    Printers are generally pretty quick to setup/deploy and as for replacing switches, it can take forever to re-patch everything. High density switches can make this procedure easier.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    It's incredibly difficult to quantify a whole site. Presumably by using the term 'network' you mean absolutely everything? Servers, workstations, printers, switches?

    I suppose if you had no backups/images whatsoever then you could be looking at weeks 'potentially'. If you're just talking servers, then I would say a few hours (AD, DHCP, DNS and any other services), then data on top. It really depends how much there is to restore. As for workstations, it depends on the size of the image you're deploying I suppose. Obviously machines with 5GB images will be done much quicker than if I was deploying 20GB images.

    Printers are generally pretty quick to setup/deploy and as for replacing switches, it can take forever to re-patch everything. High density switches can make this procedure easier.
    Also if thw whole site went you will probably wont get the same workstations so you will have to rebuild images another bit of time gone. Also something else to consider would be re installing networking cable throughout the whole site. That can take weeks.

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Pity We dont have a central server where we could all have VMs with a DR image of critical servers

    /me wakes up from dreamland again...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Also if thw whole site went you will probably wont get the same workstations so you will have to rebuild images another bit of time gone.
    This isn't a problem if you use CC3. Providing you have workstation drivers, just stick a USB drive in and away it builds.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Also if thw whole site went you will probably wont get the same workstations so you will have to rebuild images another bit of time gone. Also something else to consider would be re installing networking cable throughout the whole site. That can take weeks.
    Indeed very true. Installing a new cable infrastructure would take weeks I agree. Likewise new images too. Does this mean you'd have to source replacement installation discs too and license information

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    This isn't a problem if you use CC3. Providing you have workstation drivers, just stick a USB drive in and away it builds.
    Actually you can do it on Windows Vinilla as well. I did it at my old school

    Vista Sysprep is also very good for moving between hardware.
    Last edited by FN-GM; 13th March 2009 at 08:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by interele View Post
    Could you restore your network if
    your whole site was completely destroyed ??

    M

    No!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatt View Post
    Pity We dont have a central server where we could all have VMs with a DR image of critical servers

    /me wakes up from dreamland again...
    There are plenty of them around - you just have to pay for them :-)

    Janet has a co-location facility available which is pretty cheap but I'm not sure if it's available to schools. There are plenty of companies in docklands that will house stuff for you but I've no idea how expensive it would be.

    the simplest and cheapest thing would be to negotiate with a neighbouring school so that you have some space available there in which you keep your VMs etc

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    This practically happened at our sister Middle School. Contractors managed to release asbestos everywhere and everything was ripped out and replaced. The network cabling may have survived. It was a big insurance job and they just started from scratch. All new gear, and a specialist team to install it.

    If it happened elswhere, then it would almost certainly be an insurance job.

    I guess I could rebuild it myself having just installed two computer suites and a new server on my own but it would take forever.

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    problems

    when i did our DR plan , worked it all out based on loosing everything , servers, switches workstations and there laid the biggest problem as a supplier to find you 10 servers and 200 workstations , I asked Dell this question their answer 7 days till you get them on site.

    So you can do your bit as quick as you like but without any kit you are stuffed. I based our DR plan on business critical stuff first so set up an office in our sports hall with 10 laptops for most important admin workers , we keep a whole weeks worth of data off site , I put in the plan 10 days as a realistic time frame. Even getting a new ADSL line if you have had a fire say can take days or weeks if the cabling is damaged.


    Lets hope we never need to do it ( my first draft DR plan was to keep a one way ticket to the Caribbean in a fire proof safe) Bursar didn't like that plan, The thought of having to rebuild 9 years worth of infrastructure and hardware is something I would rather not have to do.

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