Disaster Recovery Scenario Case Study: Information Technology

Artemiss LLC formally Signature Styles, formerly the world renowned Spiegel Company of the 70’s and 80’s, who was known as the catalog industry leader of quality designed savvy women’s clothing, shoes and accessories is the primary character in this case study. Over the last decade Signature Styles has been converting from the high-end printed catalog business leader into the digital catalog industry business. The company has been  developing and implementing a state-of-the-art Internet business that ships thousands of packages daily around the world filling their customers’ orders. With various locations in NY and Virginia, including a warehouse capacity of 500,000 sf. The operation housed the various designer products that are shipped worldwide.

Signature Styles was hit hard by a heavy rain storm that breached the roof. The storm caused flooding down a weak structural point in the roof through the ceiling of the northern Virginia Data Center. Various offices and locations in this facility were hit with water, moisture, humidity and other contaminates. Which caused a halt in productivity from the printing line, as well as the Network/IT infrastructure. Network equipment was energized during the event, and attempts to De-energize the equipment were halted as the customer instructed to keep the system live, to keep them up and running. The flood clearly damaged several hundred devices including

servers, switches and data storage units and the client’s inability to power these systems down wasn’t helping the sensitive electronics chance of survival. The second day on site, the network administrator showed us a video he had taken the night of the event. The video provides evidence of direct contact of live systems with water. Both power and network cabling were directly hit as well. The priorities of the company changed as restoration was being performed, with change request from multiple contacts. Main power was shut down by local authorities due to electrical and fire hazards making the environment unsafe. We proceeded to lock out tag out the main power gear so that power was not inadvertently energize at the same time as the generates causing an elevation accident. Environmental issues (Humidity, Lack of climate control, lighting) hampered recovery efforts. Through the years, and various acquisitions in the companies past, the network grew by adding an assortment of various vendor equipment. Many systems were not upgraded or even serviced since the initial network was created. Various systems were end of life or beyond, and service contracts and support were no longer valid for many systems. Workaround’s kept the network running. Virtualization and upgrades were slotted to occur, but have not transpired until
the event.

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