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ITS Completes Campus-Wide Networking Continuity Testing

While there often is discussion about redundancy, resiliency, disaster recovery and service continuity, rarely do organizations actually schedule tests of such architectures, both in terms of the disaster itself and the restoration afterward.

ITS Communication Technologies made the decision to proactively test campus networking services one evening in July 2015. ITS tested four services housed in Phillips Hall and replicated elsewhere: Internet connectivity, VPN access, routing for main campus departmental VLANs (firewalled and non-firewalled) and campus-wide VoIP phone service.

“The plan,” said Jim Gogan, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Networking and Telecommunications, “was to pull the plug on the hardware in Phillips providing those services, verify the redundancy infrastructure elsewhere on campus is kicking in, assess the impact, then plug everything back in and verify that the hardware actually comes back on line.”

ITS was reassured when the redundancy/resiliency worked as designed. The reconnection of the Phillips devices restored all services to their pre-plug-pull state. ITS plans to do similar testing once per year to ensure redundancy planning continues to work.

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