Disaster Recovery Services

Disaster Recovery (DR) provides infrastructure recovery so systems/applications can once again function following circumstances that prevent extended access to mission-critical technology systems.  DR focuses on IT and associated systems that support critical business functions, as opposed to Business Continuity (BC). DR is part of the larger BC effort, which involves keeping all essential aspects of a business functioning despite significant disruption.


Alternate Data Center (ADC)

The Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT) has made significant facility and DR infrastructure investments to ensure Commonwealth of Kentucky business continuity in the event of a disaster. (2,000) square feet of secure, caged floor space is dedicated to COT at the CyrusOne data in Florence KY, maintaining (50) racks of server, storage, and network equipment. The ADC is a node on COT’s 100Gb fiber ring, with (2) separate network paths back to Frankfort’s main Commonwealth Data Center (CDC).  For power and HVAC, CyrusOne guarantees a 150kW electrical commitment, with (2) generators, N+1 cooling, (2) grid connections, and battery transition. CyrusOne requires (2)-factor physical security for 24x7 facility entrance, including badge + bio (fingerprint). From a logical security compliance perspective, COT is provided:  
·         SSAE 16 (SOC I type II)
·         PCI DSS (sec 9 & 12)
·         HIPAA
·         ISO 27001
·         FISMA

To Participate in COT DR

An authorized Agency requestor should submit a request to the Commonwealth Service Desk asking for the server(s) to be placed into one of the (3) DR categories listed below. For new servers, this question should have been answered on the original New Server Request form. Please include the COT billing number that the DR server(s) will be billed to.
Agency Disaster Recovery Participation Requirements
COT must be made aware of all architectural updates affecting Agency systems/applications. Any type of server, software, network or other infrastructure change may negatively impact your ability to successfully fail over to ADC platforms when necessary. For successful application failover in the DR environment, all servers required in the Production environment must participate in the DR program. Application owners are invited and encouraged to participate in annual DR Test Exercises. There are no costs associated with DR testing. Currently, all servers participating in DR must be virtual.   
Disaster Recovery Services
COT offers agencies (3) levels of DR services to choose from. Decisions must consider how much system/application downtime can be incurred before restoration in the event that Disaster Recovery procedures are initiated.

  • Level 1 (Hot)
Hot DR is for mission-critical applications that have top priority to be restored. Hot Production servers and data storage are continuously replicated from the CDC to the ADC at 5-second intervals. Nightly backups are also replicated to the ADC. ADC servers will quickly restore system/application functionality at regular Production environment performance levels.   
Hot DR level costs include a quantity of (2) Production server charges (WN50, LX10, UX10, or SQ10), plus double whatever additional RAM and CPU charges associated with the server (WN60/70, LX20/30, UX30/40, SQ20/30).
  • Level 2: (Warm)  
Warm DR allows Agency systems/applications to be recovered, but does not guarantee regular Production environment performance. While having a dedicated server allocated for DR, Warm does not dedicate Production environment RAM and CPU allocations. Once recovered, system/application performance will function at degraded levels, perhaps significantly. Agencies will experience slower system and end-user response times.
Warm DR level charges include a quantity of (2) for the Production server. ADC RAM and CPU charges will be billed only after Warm DR is initiated. COT may choose which Warm DR systems can participate in annual DR Test Exercises.
  • Level 3 (Cold) Backup Only
Cold DR should only be used for Agency applications/systems that can experience significant downtime waiting for infrastructure restoration. This scenario relies on nightly data backups (ST90) that will be restored in an alternate computing environment should the request be made. Server infrastructure may have to be procured, software installed, backup data loaded, with additional configuration needed. Application recovery time estimates could vary up to 60 – 90 days from the time of disaster until system recovery.
Cold DR level charges will be assessed at the time an agency requests recovery.

Testing/DR Exercises

COT conducts (2) primary DR Test events per year; a spring test focusing on mainframe systems and their associated distributed systems, and a fall test for all other distributed systems. All HOT and WARM DR participants are automatically invited and strongly encouraged to participate at no charge. Hot DR is given priority over other DR levels. Additional charges will be incurred by Cold DR agencies, if testing is requested and available. Prior to testing, Agencies provide test plans and application/system testers. It is critical agencies participate in DR testing. This ensures infrastructure contingency planning efforts function properly should a failover event occur. Following testing, lessons learned are compiled, shared with agencies, and joint efforts established to correct any DR plan shortcoming.   
COT also provides individualized DR testing for some of the larger applications within State government. Please contact COT and the DR Coordinators for additional information.

Business Continuity Services

Agencies are responsible for developing BC plans for mission-critical functions in the event that COT services are not available. Kentucky Emergency Management provides guidance based on NIST guidance for developing Business Continuity Plans (BCP) as well as Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP).  
1. Kentucky Emergency Management Planning Information and Resources
2. NIST Special Publication 800-34 Rev. 1   
This page was last modified 12/16/2020 3:44 PM