Ernie Pate, Director of IT, for Phillips Production Company.  Our topic of discussion is disaster recovery and hot site services.
Link:   Did you have a disaster recovery plan which included a hot-site relationship before your DR relationship with Link?
Ernie:  We had a reciprocal relationship with our sister company who also utilizes a system i or AS/400.  Basically, the arrangement was if we had a disaster we would restore our backup tapes to their machine and process and vise versa if they
had a disaster.  We attempted to stay on the same OS release levels, etc.
Link:   Was there a determining factor in the change?
Ernie:  Well, the reciprocal arrangement wasn't a practical solution for a number a reasons.  Among them was limited system space available as well as the ability to test without restrictions.
Link:   Did you look at other solutions before you chose Link's disaster recovery services?
Ernie:  Yes, we inquired into some of the other options in the market place.  We looked at cost, proximity and availability of technical support personnel during tests, etc. 
We chose Link's hot-site solution because it met our budget as well as the criteria I mentioned.  In addition, we were very happy to know that their available test date schedule was open and we could choose a test date that best fit our schedules.
Link:   What are the most important elements to a successful hot-site relationship?
Ernie:  There are many, but some of the most important to us were location or proximity of the hot-site and the vendor's knowledge of the platform and our systems.  The availability of ancillary technology and/or services was also key.  Items such as workspace availability, IP telephony to connect to outside phone systems, VPN for remote access, laser printers for checks, etc., these are often overlooked but are critical to recovery. 

Technical support during test and especially in case of a disaster

 is key and Link has the technical staff we need.
Link:   Have you conducted a restoration test?
Ernie:  Yes, last June
Link:   What did you learn most from the test?
Ernie:   Well there were a number of things we learned and are glad we conducted the first recovery test.  One item we realized is that we have a number of third party applications with license codes associated with our box's serial number.  In order to test, we needed to obtain the appropriate temporary license codes from our vendors.  Without these, recovery in an actual disaster will be at a stand still.

Our test plan included the development and execution of jobs both on our current system and Link's test environment.  We utilized this process in order to compare data processing results to make sure system recovery at the hot site will be
successful.  Again, you learn quite a bit of what you need to have during your first test.
Last, but certainly not least, the technical support with Link's SE was vital to the testing process.  Without this support, the test and recovery process would be extremely difficult.
Link:   Thank you Ernie for your time and contribution to our newsletter.
Ernie:  You're welcome.
If you would like to learn more about Link Computer Corporation's disaster recovery hot site services for system i (AS/400), or it's latest DR service offering, backup and data recovery solutions for WinTel environments, please contact your Account Representative or Chris Fadness at 814.742.7700 extension 501.      

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