It’s 10 o’clock, Do you know where your DR plan is? Part 2 - The Data Sources

Part 2 - The Data Sources, in our 5-part series on Ways to get your Disaster Recovery Plan back on Brian McGinty.

Part 2 – The Data Sources, in Our 5-part Series on Ways to Get Your Disaster Recovery Plan Back on Track.

I introduced TransitionManager and highlighted some of the ways it can transform your Disaster Recovery (DR) program.

In this part we will discuss your data, one of the cornerstones of your DR program. TransitionManager (TM) will become your source of data for DR but first you will need to load and manage your organization’s data. Today I will talk about how you get there.

The Discovery Process: Identifying Data Sources

Despite the goal of one discovery tool that ‘does it all,’ most organizations end up with one or more discovery tools (some implemented better than others) used to document current environment views. Sometimes separate IT groups will even acquire different tools that overlap in what they do. Regardless, you need to identify what sources of data you want to use to support your Disaster Recovery program.

Since TransitionManager is not a discovery tool, data is loaded into TM.  Depending on the data sources you use some of the data you will want to load includes, but is not limited to:

  • Device information and device details.
  • Application information and environments.
  • Database information and detail.
  • Application to device dependency data.
  • Application to application dependency data.

Dependency data can cover a broad spectrum, from simple application runs on this machine dependency to external organization dependencies. Whatever the dependency, it can be defined in TransitionManager.

Loading Your Data

There are 3 components to getting TransitionManager loaded and to it becoming the DR data source:

1. Initial Data Loading:

Determine the data elements you want captured, if necessary, create any needed customer fields in TransitionManager. Organize and execute data loads for your scope (these can be straight CSV loads, or you can utilize any number of TDS TransitionManager ETL scripts to load data. We support ETL for most of the major vendors).

2. Data Validation:

Scheduled, ongoing, data validation of application data and dependencies should be done. The level and depth are determined by you. Typically, you want application representatives validating the data quarterly or validation efforts triggered to occur before scheduled DR events.

3. Ongoing Data Management:

Once you have your initial data set in place it is important that you build a standard data maintenance process to ensure overall data integrity of the information in TransitionManager. Even on short engagements, one of our critical requirements is defining and putting in place the process that keeps the data fresh. It can usually be refined to the point of needing very little human intervention. This involves the use of regularly scheduled data feeds from your discovery tools and utilizing ETL to update TM.

With the above components in place, you now are able to move forward with the rest of your Disaster Recovery charter. You now have a data set that is not spread across multiple discovery tools, or in an excel sheet that gets sent around all over, but something that is available to anyone to login and review 24/7.

In part 3 of our series I will touch on viewing your data once it is loaded.


Part 2: It’s 10 o’clock, Do you know where your DR plan is? The Data Sources

Part 3: It’s 10 o’clock, Do you know where your DR plan is? Part 3 – Data Viewing

Part 4: It’s 10 o’clock, Do you know where your DR plan is? Part 4 – Using Runbooks for Disaster Recovery


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