In many organizations when a service outage of a mission critical application happens, the priority is to restore business services as soon as possible. Most don’t even think about the process that leads to full recovery. Many organizations have root cause analysis processes but this is only one part of a much bigger process. In practice, they’re many things to go into restoring full application services that are either overlooked or are just second nature to many. We will briefly talk about what is the Anatomy of an Outage.

When you look a continuity event closely….end to end, they’re is a complex set of moving parts that takes organizations through the restoration business services. In some organizations they’re is a degree of automation that provides guidance through this process. However for the vast majority, this is manual or performed adhoc. So what are the key components of an outage of a mission critical application? What does each accomplish?

Anatomy of an Outage

  • Awareness
  • Resolution
  • Failover
  • Recovery

These four aspects of the anatomy requires understanding how all of these fit into your business continuity plan. This is essential to having reasonable expectations on recoverability. For example when you understand what your doing manually (maybe unconsciously), it makes it easier to figure out where to apply automation to fill in gaps and reduce the overall time to recovery (RTO) and increase the quality of the recovery. This changes how you look at continuity solutions on the market. The measuring stick is much longer knowing that whatever is chosen can address in some degree all four of these anatomy components.

I will publish for the next five weeks explanations of each phase of the Anatomy of an Outage. We encourage you to read all the posts that will come from this series.

In part two of the series, we will talk about how having situational awareness of a continuity event can have a great impact on how you deal with the problem through its lifecycle. This series will talk in detail on this subject. However, if you would like to read a very good short eBook on this topic, download “Anatomy of an Outage” by Neverfail. I’m sure you will find it interesting!

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