Disaster recovery testing undertaken

Banner is one of ACU’s most critical systems. 

Late on Friday night, 22 January, a busy team of IT, Student Admin, and vendor staff were quietly bringing it down.

Why? They were testing what would happen if something happened to it ‘in real life’.

What if the power failed in a data centre? What if a mouse chewed a critical cable? What if a natural disaster struck?

These are the questions that keep IT teams up at night.

Enter the disaster recovery test. 

These tests ensure that, if the worst did happen, our systems would be back up and running as soon as possible (in many cases, with no outage at all). They highlight flaws in our backup plans (including technical dependencies, procedures and responsibilities) and allow us to design new strategies to mitigate any risks.

As an example, during the test on 22-23 January, the team:

  • Shut down Banner on all primary sites (Melbourne).
  • Restored Banner on secondary site (Sydney).
  • Shut down Banner on the secondary site (Sydney).
  • Restored Banner on primary site (Melbourne).

Disaster recovery testing sounds simple but is the result of many months of hard work in the planning phases, including working with stakeholders right across the business.

This was a highly successful test which proved that we have a working disaster recovery plan in place not only for Banner but for other major systems too. During 2021, more systems will be subjected to disaster recovery testing to provide even more confidence we can recover from any incident.

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