A server containing multiple disks managed by a vendor for the State of Hawaii’s driver's licensing programs had multiple hard disks crash. The storage media is encrypted and secured with some data not readable. There was no security or data breach. It will take a couple of months to determine if the data can be recovered.
The spokesperson gives a briefing at a press conference similar to "the dog ate my homework".
1) There was a backup system in place that's supposed to protect the data when the hard drives crash, it was not properly configured.
2) They were not aware that certain documents or images were not getting backed up properly.
3) The backups are checked to make sure everything is working properly. Don't know what the details are and what the plan was on checking the data.
When implementing a new system, I have few suggestions on how to make your system bulletproof. I used to be a Systems Administrator and I never lost any data on my watch.
1) The Project Manager in charge needs to have good Subject Matter Experts to recommend the technology, security, and procedures to be in place to ensure the system has the redundancy to withstand a disaster and prevent a security breach.
2) The Statement of Work needs to always include clear expectations.
3) Service Level Agreements need to be in place for the system.
4) Disaster Avoidance plan and Recovery Strategies to meet Service Level Agreements.
5) Test your systems periodically to ensure that the data is being replicated or backed up properly to a media that will go offsite.
6) Make sure you have a good hardware / software support contract in place.
7) Never ever trust the vendor. Make a checklist of your key deliverables to be reviewed and demonstrated when you begin the sign-off stage in the project. Any missing checks will result in a big missing check for that vendor to cash.
I have identified three critical areas in a project to focus on. They all intertwine. It's up to the Project Manager to keep a close watch over them or suffer the consequences.
Review with a fine tooth comb what you are delivering.
(2) Scope Creep
Changes are inevitable, but keep it to a minimum.
Make sure you are delivering results.
(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on DrakeSettsu.BlogSpot.com in October 2015)
The Statement of Work also known as the SOW that a vendor provides needs to be thoroughly reviewed to ensure that all expected deliverables are there. The information in the SOW will also help to plan out the preparation work prior to the vendor performing their work. It also helps to plan out post SOW follow up work.
Read The Vendor Statement of Work for more SOW information.