Disaster recovery is an essential service for EDF with Phenix-IT

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For French power technology utility EDF, the efficiency and dependability of its business continuity (BC) and disaster restoration (DR) options, and the technological know-how they relaxation on, go way past the organisation – they increase to the performing of the nation itself.

In this post, we glimpse at how EDF establish its BC/DR provision throughout the complete organisation, to cover prospective outages in its datacentres, cyber attacks, and even the once-a-century chance of important flooding all-around Paris. In other text, all the risks recognized by its IT division.

To produce its DR designs, EDF produced an application focused to the work that it phone calls Phenix-IT. “We wanted a software to take care of the restoration plan in situation of a datacentre catastrophe,” states Bruno Leyris, head of IT BC/DR and disaster administration at EDF.

But the goal of Phenix-IT is twofold. To start with, it is an operational tool that capabilities in true time when a datacentre DR prepare is activated. Secondly, it is also employed everyday to manage and generate reporting to the management at EDF and its strains of enterprise.

Leyris underlines the job of Phenix-IT in testing and improving upon BC/DR provision. “We use Phenix-IT regularly during our annual exercise routines,” he claims. “Every year we simulate the destruction of datacentres and observe the restoration of action through Phenix-IT.

“Within the framework offered by these exercises, we produce reporting and graphics, and talk results applying secure applications across the group’s crisis administration organisation.”

Past this operational role through crisis management, Phenix-IT collects facts pertinent to these routines. Evaluation of that details contributes to advancements in crisis management and the recovery program.

Phenix-IT: An progressively loaded and sophisticated application

Because its start 12 many years ago, Phenix-IT has developed hugely, with many places of operation extra to the initial software jointly with computer software service provider Mega. Amid the most important additions throughout the life of Phenix-IT has been the roll-out of workflows between essential actors in crisis administration and secure communications that notify customers of crisis teams.

These equipment allow productive decision-generating through information and facts sharing on a 24/7 basis. Securing them is critical because if the disaster is activated by a cyber assault, it is essential that the attackers can not listen in.

Reporting on Phenix-IT has been a specific concentrate of development in current yrs. For the duration of any catastrophe, the software delivers forecasting graphics. It is also built-in with effects simulation operation that permits IT teams to check procedure resilience through Phenix-IT.

Outside the critical position performed by Phenix-IT in the course of crisis simulations, it is also made use of by IT on a day-to-day basis and has turn into a conventional for the EDF group.

“Beyond its catastrophe restoration features, impression simulation and protected communications, Phenix-IT has turn out to be a very important regular in IT,” suggests Leyris. “It is obtainable by security staff members to accumulate information and facts and take a look at the resilience of IT techniques in quiet periods.”

Modernisation on Mega Hopex

Phenix-IT was formulated on a now-obsolete model of the Mega system which experienced become ever more highly-priced to maintain. So, a challenge to update it was introduced not too long ago. Following investigation, it was determined to proceed with Mega, but to migrate to the company’s Hopex platform, which is dedicated to management of governance, threat and compliance.

“This option opened new possibilities for us while ensuring continuity in our tactic,” says Leyris. “And we also came back to expectations that we had diverged from.”

EDF’s CIO had progressively deployed an agile manner of procedure with Mega. EDF job chiefs, developers and Mega’s income force were all associated. “Phenix-IT is now in its ninth 12 months of evolution,” states Leyris. “Lots of men and women have taken portion in the venture, but they have generally taken care to recognize the aims and included value that EDF expects from the software program in periods of disaster as well as beneath normal working.”

The challenge team produces two main variations a yr, and these are incredibly constrained in phrases of the timeframes they ought to fulfill. Each important version ought to be completed prior to every single exercise.

“Every 6 months, we have a key variation of Phenix-IT for our disaster restoration routines,” says Leyris. “It’s a constraint of time and top quality since we simply cannot have Phenix-IT crashing during the training.”

Agile organisation enables for constant improvements in Phenix-IT. Exterior instances when DR physical exercises are jogging, those dependable for disaster administration in EDF join through the software to provide analyses, including amongst IT and the enterprise.

Amount of objects growing by 10% a year

A vital problem experiencing Phenix-IT and the DR approach is growth – of 10% every single 12 months – of elements that it need to track in EDF’s IT programs. The software program has to constantly integrate information from new sources, and that brings additional get the job done on the high-quality of knowledge ingested by Hopex. Will increase in uncooked information and the new performance that accompanies development influence the prepare in conditions of the electricity and availability of the system.

EDF needs to maintain building the platform, with the main plan getting to increasingly integrate Phenix-IT with disaster administration processes.

“We want to perform on ergonomics to make the software extra intuitive,” claims Leyris. “Someone woken in the middle of the night time in the course of a disaster desires an intuitive tool.”

Also, Phenix-IT needs to be enhanced to aid the organization continuity team’s get the job done in circumstance of ransomware assault.

Now, Phenix-IT operates on Hopex v3, but the job workforce is researching its doable migration to v5 and placing new functionality in that model to operate.