Disaster Planning

Effective disaster planning is essential for ensuring the safety of a digital repository's staff and the sustainability of digital content and services. Disaster preparedness is also a primary responsibility of trusted digital repositories.

ICPSR's preparation for potential disasters is built into our practices in archival storage and data delivery. For example, ICPSR maintains six backup copies of all data holdings. We also have a backup copy of our data delivery system -- the website at www.icpsr.umich.edu -- stored in a cloud-based service . In the case of a power outage, the ICPSR URL is routed to the backup in the cloud, and data can still be downloaded by users (however, deposit services are not enabled through the backup).

ICPSR's formal policies on disaster planning, developed in 2009, are described in the documents below.

ICPSR Disaster Planning Policy Framework: This is the high-level policy document that defines the purpose, scope, and components of the disaster planning program at ICPSR. The framework used a model document (PDF 91K) based on a scan of community examples. ICPSR's Director of Computing and Network Services Bryan Beecher also outlined the disaster recovering planning process in a four-part series on his blog, Technology at ICPSR: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

ICPSR Roles and Responsibilities: This document defines the roles and responsibilities for ICPSR's disaster planning program, as informed by a scan of community examples (PDF 70K).

ICPSR Crisis Communications Plan: The plan addresses requirements for internal and external communications during and after an emergency using a model document (PDF 160K) of community examples.

ICPSR Disaster Planning Training Plan: This document provides guidance on appropriate training for current and future staff at ICPSR using a model document (PDF 114K) of community examples.

ICPSR Web Services Continuity Plan: This is a three-phase plan to deploy a replica of our Web server to ensure client access during a failure of ICPSR's primary Web services; redeploy ICPSR's primary Web services to another location; and explore alternative methods for delivering ICPSR Web services.