Skip Maine state header navigation
|State Agencies | Web Policies | My Maine.gov | Email this page|
A Publication Featuring The Information Services Technology of Maine State Government
|Volume VI, Issue 6||June 2003|
Who are you going to call when a disaster requires the datacenter move to another location? Certainly not Ghost Busters! The Bureau of Information Services (BIS) has a database which helps keep track of the many details necessary to ensure customers IT work is impacted as slightly as possible in the event of any disaster. It also enables us to work more efficiently every day!
Starting in the summer of 2000, I designed and developed a new Business Resumption database, and working collaboratively with BIS staff, started the process of importing data which had previously been kept in individual spreadsheets and word documents. One of the first major blocks of information to be imported came from Joy Elwell and Nancy Parmenter of the Production Services Division. Data on servers had originally been kept in a Lotus database, written by Joy. Because the Bureau was transitioning from IBM desktop products to the Microsoft suite, we decided to migrate the data to the new Access database.
BIS has a variety of business reasons to maintain information on the 230+ servers it is responsible for. In addition to Business Resumption/Disaster Recovery responsibilities, the Bureau is also responsible for servers insurance, environment, upgrades and other maintenance (depending on the terms of the service level agreement). What type of information on servers does BIS keep? The short list includes size (space is tight in the machine room!), electrical power requirements, memory and disk capacities, backup frequency, type and off site storage location, user agencies and their applications, products which run on the servers etc. Joy and Nancy maintain this information, as well as listings of individuals assigned to support each server.
Many server support personnel work for BIS Network Services Division, and/or are members of the IS Managers Group. Administrative staff previously maintained contact lists for various groups individually. Now all contact information, regardless of group, is maintained in the Business Resumption database. Contact information includes address information and the following numbers: telephone, cell, pager, e-mail page and fax (both at work and at home for BIS staff) etc. Reports based upon this data are used as telephone directories, and group membership lists (e.g. Information Services Managers Group (ISMG) members/designees - http://inet.state.me.us/ismg/ismglst.htm). In addition, this contact data may be exported into the new Dialogic Alert Network database as it comes on-line.
Not surprisingly server support individuals contact information also spring from this source. So, if operators call a support person and discover a wrong number, either Brenda McCamish or Barbara Buck is alerted. The number is also correct for the IT Project Management and Contracts Section which also assigns State employee contacts using the records maintained by the administrative staff.
Stephanie Parker and Becky Marquis also benefit from Brenda and Barbaras work. They assign contact individuals responsible for BIS customers backup records and media, should an emergency arise. Becky also maintains, in this database, extensive records regarding the location, rotation schedule, and nature of backup materials (tapes, paper records etc.) which are sent off site every day (see http://www.maine.gov/newsletter/oct2000/ibm_3590_tape_system.htm).
Following 9/11/01, preparedness activities have taken on a renewed urgency. The Business Resumption database is in daily use while it stands ready should BIS need to establish a data center elsewhere.
In addition to working with Stephanie Parker on the Business Resumption database and related issues, Mary N. Cloutier is the editor of this publication. She may be reached by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Employees Confidential listing, ISMG membership listing, Production Services call-out listings, E-mail Administrators, Technical Coordinators membership listing http://inet.state.me.us/ismg/techhome.htm, plus BIS employee work numbers, pagers and cell phones and alert network contacts.