Emergency Outage Prompts Strategic IT Planning For Private Educational Institute

THE CHALLENGE

Limited IT Workers Needed Help with Emergency Outage

An independent school first contacted Oceancyber to help resolve an emergency outage.

Their core network switching had failed, leaving them without access to internal servers and hosted applications. No Internet meant that many classes were halted, and most administrative tasks, including internal and external communication, were now impossible. With limited IT staff and no documented recovery plans, this private educational establishment wanted help from a good IT services company – and fast!

THE SOLUTION

Diagnosing the Problem and Strategic Planning for the Future

An existing client (one other private college) recommended Oceancyber to assist with the crisis. Fortunately, we had knowledgeable staff available who were able to help with the problem right away.

We sent a technician to the school who was in a position to resolve the outage quickly, getting essential services back up and running. However, after the outage, their servers returned to factory reset and lost all initial configurations. This meant spending the next few days rebuilding the servers, a very time-consuming and thus costly process.

As soon as the issue was resolved, we were requested to propose some much-needed improvements. For starters, we recommended a multi-node server cluster, located each on-premise and in the cloud. This may enable the team to centrally manage their data in one place, making them much more efficient. A robust backup and recovery system was recommended and put in so the team could be better prepared to recover shortly from any outage.

And finally, a strategic IT plan was created to help with ongoing operations, including detailed documentation so that the entire team might work in lockstep and have best-practice guidelines at their fingertips. It may be very troublesome for small IT groups to retake a step to do proactive, strategic planning. Day-to-day upkeep and continuous interruptions could make it unimaginable to seek the time to suggest new options, not to mention implement them.

THE IMPACT

Placing a Proactive Security and Back Up and Recovery Plan in Place

This private college learned the hard way that it pays to be prepared.

In this situation, an internal {hardware} failure caused the outage. However, frequent downtime and other disruptions may be attributed to data breaches and cyber-attacks. Cybercrime is exceptionally excessive, and educational institutions are at risk as much, if not more than some other types of business. Therefore, along with proactive safety, having the proper backup and disaster recovery in place and documented business continuity plan is critical.

In this case, the school was fortunate that its data could be recovered in a day or two. Because losing it entirely would have been catastrophic. After the consulting engagement ended, the school hired Oceancyber to continue augmenting their existing IT employees, relieving them of routine duties that had been slipping behind and working with them on strategic technology targets for the future.