he topic of the first session at our last Meeting of Members almost became a real life experience at the second session: Disaster Recovery Planning nearly became a Disaster Recovery Lab Session when our evening speaker, Janet Krueger almost did not show up. But, being a real trooper, she fought her way to make it to Toronto. A bit late, but, nevertheless, she showed up.
Living in Rochester, Minnesota, Janet had to fly to Toronto (an American Airlines flight... does it ring a bell?). Her plan was certainly not to arrive late in the afternoon, just a couple of hours prior to the meeting. She was supposed to arrive in Toronto at lunch time, pay a visit to the Toronto lab, meet few developers at the lab and then come to our meeting. The start of the session was scheduled for 7:00PM. Well, thanks to a delayed departure, mechanical problems with the plane, and zealous Canadian Immigration officers fussing over some missing formal "work" papers; it was 7:45PM when she finally walked into the Macdonald Cartier room at the "HOJ", where we were all anxiously waiting for her.
While she was in the plane, she decided to renew her presentation. So she pulled it up on her laptop and did some work on it. When the flight attendant ask her to shut off her laptop she did, and during that process corrupted her presentation. She ended up loosing half of it. To top it off, Janet and Lisa Jobson had worked hard to get an AS/400 with a Unity server on it, ahead of time. They had trouble getting the code from Rochester to Toronto, so Janet had to hand carry it with her. While Janet was giving her speech, Lisa (sitting on the floor) tried to load the code and apply some PTF's, hoping the system would come up so that Janet could give a live demo. Guess what: we are still waiting for our Unity (or AS/400 Operations Navigator) demonstration. Despite all these troubles, Janet pulled it off graciously. She delivered a remarkable presentation on Client Access/400 for Windows 95 ant NT. After a review of the past accomplishments Janet presented the current version and the upcoming features of the product. She also talk about AnyNet support that in theory makes your application protocol independent. If you choose TCP/IP or SNA, though, it's a bit slow and difficult to administer. That's one of the reasons why the Windows 95 Client has not come out with AnyNet. IBM decided that supporting the protocol natively was a better idea.
Janet noted that IBM is in the process of building some of the functions of Client/Access and project Unity into Java. Today, its code is written in C++ and it's well integrated with the Windows 95 desktop. The reason to write some of the code into Java is that IBM would like to have some of the same function working on the new "network station".
Even though she started her session late, the audience was delighted by Janet. Most of the people attending the session stayed till the very end of her presentation.
As you can see, even if the event almost turned into one, disaster was not Janet's topic. Disaster, and more specifically "Disaster Recovery Planning" , had been the topic for the afternoon session. Richard Dolewski, a TUG director and a Certified Disaster Recovery Planner (or CARP), reminded us once more, how poorly we (at least many, many of us) are prepared to recover from a disaster. As Richard said, "Disaster strikes when, where and because you are not prepared." A few somber statistics should open our eyes: more than 75% of businesses are unable to function without computer support. If the computers are out for fifteen days or more, 43% of businesses will never re-open, and 29% will close within 2 years. After the World Trade Centre bombing in New York City, 87 of the 402 businesses in that tower never re-opened.
In a disaster, you are going to affect your ability to service your customers. You rely on computer services for order entry, for your payroll functions, for your ability to ship to your customers. How up to date is your plan? (If you have one). Does it reflect ALL of the technical changes you have made to your system since you wrote it? Did you test it?
To fully cover the Disaster Recovery Planning topic can take a long period of time. A one hour session is way too short. That's why Richard selected only a few of the highlights to cover, specifically the areas around computer systems. Maybe Richard should develop a Recovery Plan for TUG for when a speaker does not show up...