Government Consultancy for Secondary Data Recovery Centre

Overview

A Federal Government agency needed to undertake a review of its data centre strategy for its secondary site. The strategy included various migration options and associated cost models. The organisation selected Diaxion to review the strategy, options, independent cost model creation and ensure alignment with the business strategy and operational priorities.

The Challenge

Diaxion’s Data Centre Migration Methodology comprises four phases: PMO,  Migration Discovery and Analysis, Detailed Migration Planning, and Migration. The project was initiated using the Discovery and Analysis phase, which commenced with a review of the Data Centre Strategy as background. A discovery meeting was then undertaken to understand the background and work completed to date, answer the questions from the initial strategy review, review the guiding principles, assumptions and financial input, and assess the business strategy. This included a walk-through of the data centre strategy document.

Diaxion then conducted a detailed review of the strategy document, followed by additional clarification workshops with key personnel representing disaster recovery and risk, physical and ICT security, property, data centre facilities, cloud, and capital refresh. What followed was an independent creation of the strategy document and associated cost models, leveraging Diaxion’s  experience from prior engagements and industry standards.

A key component of this included the building of an approach to Protected Public cloud adoption, an associated cost model and timeline. Public cloud considering both sovereign providers and major International providers. Requests for additional information were consolidated, before Diaxion undertook a comprehensive analysis of options and cost models to support the strategy.

The Solution

Diaxion’s engagement followed a phased approach of Discovery, Analysis, Plan, and Exercise. In the Discovery phase, Diaxion undertook the work by reviewing documentation and conducting workshops. The initial  documentation requested covered various areas including current DR and BCP, recent Business Impact Assessment (BIA), DR charter, Crisis Management Plan, last DR and BCP exercises, and supporting documentation such as sequencing, system recovery, and service tiering.

After reviewing the documentation, Diaxion conducted workshops to confirm the desired target state for both DR and BCP, and to understand or confirm  current gaps. Diaxion also brought samples of different DR strategies, plans and runbook formats from previous engagements to facilitate alignment to the style best suited to the organisation. The workshops were held with key stakeholders across the business including risk and crisis managers, BIA process manager, operations manager, service owner, and solution design lead.

In the Analysis phase, Diaxion analysed capability gaps and determined how they could be best resolved; be that through technology, process improvement, 3rd party requirements, or people capability and capacity. Diaxion then identified an appropriate DR framework for the client and assessed them against it by considering how the framework would integrate into the existing Crisis Management Plan, the DR charter and triggers to be catered for, and the DR calendar. Diaxion also considered initial socialisation and ongoing project life cycle integration, training and testing for re-establishment, and how to test and mature the DR capability over a two year period.

The Plan phase saw Diaxion use the findings from the Analysis phase to create and update our client’s DR documentation. These documents included an overall DR strategy and plan, DR plans for each application and service, and a DR runbook. While the client was responsible for the construction of the plans and a further set of applications, Diaxion provided the supporting framework, explanation, oversight, assistance, and quality assurance review of one. Diaxion took a collaborative approach to review all documents, provide feedback and ensure consistency.
The final phase was run as a walk-through of the DR plans, where all relevant teams needed to confirm that the DR plans aligned sufficiently with the requirements and could realistically be implemented in the case of a disaster scenario. There were two review cycles which aimed to detect any technical or non-technical issues or concerns, and to inform the final DR documentation.

The Outcome

Diaxion developed a comprehensive data centre strategy for the client that reflected the needs and expectations of their business, operational objectives and service levels, geography and sustainability goals, and the impact of cloud on the current data centre. The deliverables included a detailed findings report, a migration strategy with considerations for alternative data centre providers, sovereignty and Public cloud. Diaxion also prepared a business case that included the cost of establishment, migration, operation. After a walk-through with the client to obtain final feedback and input, the strategy

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