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Session 204: Disaster in the Data Center: Real Life Lessons

Jarrod Sandel  (IT Service Management Manager, Michigan Medicine (University of Michigan))

Erik Zempel  (IT Service Management Director, Michigan Medicine (University of Michigan))

Date: Tuesday, November 9

Time: 11:35am - 12:35pm

Pass Type: 2-day Training + Standard Conference, 3-day Training + Standard Conference, Premium Conference, Standard Conference - Get your pass now!

Track: Optimizing the Support Organization

Session Type: Case Study

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

On May 27, 2020, Michigan Medicine suffered a power event that took down its primary data center for several hours. Teams worked for hours to restore services, diligently executing disaster recovery plans until they eventually brought all systems back online. A month later, a very similar event occurred in its secondary data center. The IT organization, the business, and customers were exasperated at yet more extended downtime.

Despite years of preparation and a dedicated continuity and resiliency program, planning can only take an organization so far. Living the event – twice, as Michigan Medicine did last summer – exposes gaps and issues, especially during a pandemic that caused rapid change in the work environment in a short period of time.

What lessons did Michigan Medicine learn from two catastrophic IT failures in one month during a pandemic? In this presentation, Erik Zempel and Jarrod Sandel will present a broad overview of an unintended case study in business continuity planning. They will discuss the planning and preparation that occurred before the event, the specific failures that happened during the event, and the actions Michigan Medicine has taken since to focus on continuous improvement.