Technology Coordination: Next Generation Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery (DR) options in the Information Technology field have changed dramatically over the last 3 years due to:

  • Rapidly evolving and maturization of cloud services providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, etc.
  • Improved availability of high quality broadband and wireless services
  • The evolving Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) landscape
  • Mobile device revolution

Increasingly, DR scenarios and services need to take into account the new ways of working by staff and faculty and the ways by which this can be facilitated in a DR scenarios. 


Calvin Britton, Perelman School of Medicine
Chip Buchholtz, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Richard Cardona, Annenberg School for Communication
David Domico, Student Financial Services
Paul Dziomba, Division of Finance
Anita Gelburd, Information Systems and Computing
Greg Hartley, Information Systems and Computing
Donna Jacobs, Information Systems and Computing
Marko Jarymovych, Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics
Josh Poinsett, School of Nursing
Bill Ramirez, Information Systems and Computing
Kevin Secrest, Office of Audit, Compliance and Privacy
Dan Sheehan, Information Systems and Computing
Brian Sherman, School of Veterinary Medicine
Mary Spada, Division of the Vice Provost for University Life
Michel van der List, Information Systems and Computing


  1. Provide a common vocabulary and a set of definitions for the DR space. This will help campus when discussing DR and the surrounding technology and processes.
  2. Document guidelines and best practices for DR for Penn. This will include guidelines for RTO, RPO & future systems design principles based on the classes of applications and data for which solutions are being built.
  3. Provide guidelines for using emerging solutions such as cloud, BYOD and mobility for alternative approaches to DR


 Next Generation Disaster Recovery timeline

Process Transparency

In keeping with our portfolio management methodology, this initiative is classified as follows:




Next Generation Disaster Recovery Classification


How well understood is the technology?

Moderate [2] to Well [3]

Moderate [2]

Disaster recoveris is reasobaly well understood on campus and we have mature services available. However, the emergence of cloud and other remote based services and access compels us to revisit our definitions and understanding of the area.

How strategic/
impactful is the decision?

High [3]

High [3]

A clear definition and understanding of the service available both on campus and off will impact how future services will be defined and delivered.

How urgent is the need?

Moderate [2]

Moderate [2]

The cost of the current services are substantial and are no longer delivering the value expected by teams on campus. The economics of just in time cloud services are fundmentally changing the value proposition of disaster recovery, but we do have existing working services.

How broad is the interest/

High [3]

High [3]

IT leaders across the university rated this as the second most urgent topic requiring attention in the Fall 2015 strategic technology coordination survey. 

How ready is the community

Moderate [2] to High [3]

Low [3]

The emerging disaster recovery services are better aligned with our current technology, but not with the rapidly evolving IT services landscape, including mobile, cloud and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). 

Is ISC positioned in this space?

Unknown [2] to Yes [3]

Yes [3]

ISC offers solutions for disaster recovery, using both internal and external solutions.