It’s very important to listen carefully!

I was initially presented a client seeking technical help to perform regular recovery tests in their completely virtualized environment. And a complex environment to say the least with many different very specific CRMs using different databases. Being cautious, I wanted to make sure to meet the client’s expectation before scheduling any professional services. The conversation rapidly turned to business continuity, recovery point and time objectives and not at all around technical help to perform recovery tests.

Taking a step back, we agreed to meet to overlook and understand their business continuity needs and challenges. During the meeting, the conversation widened even more and we discovered that the agility and simplicity allowed by virtualization allowed internal shadow IT to emerge. Business lines were bypassing the IT director and were having the network administrators set up new servers with reserved CPU, memory and storage faster than ever to the point where it was hard to keep track of what was being setup where for what purpose. The conversation was leaning further away from backup & recovery. Or was it? I listened on very carefully.

Listening_Carefully

Suddenly the fog seemed to lift. What applications needed to be recovered in what time? What was the order of priority? What were the dependencies between applications and the services they needed to function? What services needed to be back on line for which applications? Where was the data for every applications? All of this in an environment that was growing very complex. They needed help building their disaster recovery plan. Or did they? I listened on very carefully.

We then learned they already had a remote site, they had already purchased a complete recovery infrastructure, they were to move everything into their new data center and keep the current systems they were operating as their failover site. In short, they had a well thought out disaster recovery plan.

What they needed was someone that was listening carefully and who understood that they were really looking for an experienced team of extra bodies to help them setup the new data center, move the data and applications, test the environment while their own team continued to manage and operate the corporate infrastructure not consultation services for a disaster recovery plan they already had nor technical assistance for tests.

Charles Tremblay, ESI Account manager