Policies: Server Justification and Disaster Recovery Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to submit a letter and plan for every server I’m running?
  • A letter of justification and DR plan is required for every server, or collection of servers, providing a “service” to a department. The services generally fall into the area of e-mail, file server, or Web/application server.
2. My department is a separate institute or auxiliary. Do I need to file letter(s) of justification and DR plans?
  • Yes. Unless your unit reports to an external organization such as the Law School, the Ag Center, the LSU Foundation, or LSU Alumni Association, you should file letters and DR plans.

3. What can ITS do to help me with meeting these requirements?
  • Moving a server to a virtual image in the data center with an accompanying support contract with University Networking and Infrastructure (UNI) group may simplify the preparation of a DR plan for a departmental server. However, the justification letter and plan would still be required.

4. All of my servers and services are outsourced off campus. Do I need to submit the letters and plans?
  • Outsourced e-mail and application services are not exempt from the justification letter and DR plan requirements. However, documentation from your hosted provider may make it easier to prepare your DR plan.

5. What should the justification letter contain?
  • Letters of justification should identify:
-the name of the server or “service” being justified
-the rationale for running a separate service
-a description of its function and capabilities including the level of resources (storage, memory, etc)
-how patch management of the operating system and software is handled
-the lifecycle replacement schedule for the server(s)
-how public records requests (PRR) are received and handled, and by whom
-for email servers, how identity management is handled if accounts are being issued and the strategic plan outlining the future of e-mail support within the department

6. Who should the letter and DR plan be addressed to?

  • The letter should be addressed to Brian Voss, the Vice Chancellor for IT. The DR plans should be sent to the Frey Computing Center to the attention of “Emergency Operations Center”.

7. What should the disaster recovery (DR) plan contain?
  • The disaster recovery plan should address the following; time and resources required to return the service to operation in the case of a loss and the measures currently being taken to preserve institutional data (backups/redundancy measures). A workshop is being planned on the essential elements of a DR plan and the notes from that workshop published to the Web. This FAQ will be updated as soon as those notes are available.

8. Can I just move my physical server into the data center to avoid submitting the letter and plan?

  • Moving a physical server into the data center will not satisfy the requirements of the auditors and is not possible at this time due to resource constraints. It may be possible to acquire a virtual server instance from existing infrastructure housed in the data center. To discuss the availability of virtual servers resources at ITS, submit a request through the UNI Web site, http://newservicerequest.lsu.edu and an analyst will contact you.

9. If I eliminate my e-mail server and move my e-mail accounts into one of the central e-mail systems can I avoid submitting the letter and plan for my e-mail server?
  • Yes. To discuss migrating your e-mail accounts into the central e-mail service at ITS, submit a request through the UNI Web site, http://newservicerequest.lsu.edu and an analyst will contact you.

12/5/2022 10:10:14 AM