[LINK] EDS foils ATO move to on-demand DR capacity

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Thu Oct 23 09:30:06 EST 2008

Two more unintended consequences.

The follies of
1. managing IT via contracts
2. optimising technology at the expense of the applications and the business

EDS foils ATO move to on-demand DR capacity
By Ry Crozier
22 October 2008 03:02PM

An EDS policy prevented the Australian Taxation Office from using 
on-demand capacity to reduce underutilisation in its disaster recovery 
operations, it has been revealed.

The outsourcer, whose contract with the ATO finishes in 2010, was unable 
to accommodate the ATO’s request to evaluate on-demand services, 
allegedly due to policy and contractual clauses that prevent disaster 
recovery (DR) and regular system infrastructure from being hosted at the 
same outsourced site.

The ATO has not ruled out a future move to on-demand processing to power 
its disaster recovery.

However, in the interim it has been forced to institute a ‘warm’ DR 
strategy to increase utilisation of its existing DR site. This will 
involve handing off the largely dormant processing power to the ATO’s 
internal analytics team.

“We have a disaster recovery platform basically doing nothing and that 
seems to be a huge waste,” said Rhonda Bradford, a senior data architect 
in the Office of the Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO), ATO.

“We’re looking at assisting our analytics people to have more power and 
control by putting them on the disaster recovery platform. A by-product 
of doing this is that our focus on reporting will no longer severely 
impact the analytics environment.”

Bradford said the ATO’s move to a warm DR environment is based on the 
assumption that its requirement for a DR platform ‘is very low’.

She told delegates at the DW 2.0 Asia Pacific Summit in Sydney that ATO 
‘had only had one incident [to date] where we really needed a DR system’.

Bradford also acknowledged the risks of opening DR capacity to 
production applications. One of the key risks is that regular users take 
over the capacity to the point where the platform is no longer suitable 
for its original DR purpose - and therefore the organisation no longer 
has a suitable DR resource.

This is potentially one reason Bradford is keeping a future shift to 
on-demand processing capacity on the table.

“It’s still on the cards,” added Bradford.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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