Grants.gov Update

March 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Posted on behalf of Loretta Smith-Hawkins, Grants.gov PMO

Grants.gov Disaster Recovery Program

Grants.gov Program Management Office (PMO) has designated Disaster Recovery (DR) as a high–priority requirement for improving our system reliability and availability capabilities for grantees, grantors, and other stakeholders in the grants community. DR is required for compliance with several information technology (IT) system security directives and statutes.  Grants.gov is dedicated to delivering the best possible service to our users while complying with the standards necessary to serve them.

Grants.gov has become an integral part of grants delivery and management for grantors and grantees; therefore, implementation of an effective DR strategy that will ensure timely return to operations and system availability in the event of a major disaster is a high priority.  The most important aspects of the Grants.gov DR program are the critical objectives of effectively planning, implementing, and supporting a successful DR capability at Grants.gov. Analysis is currently underway to specify the necessary DR capabilities, including the amount of time within which Grants.gov system services must be restored after a disaster and the acceptable data loss as defined by the point in time to which data must be recovered. Results from our analysis will determine the specific capabilities to support the objectives outlined below and avoid unacceptable consequences to our grantees and grantors:

  • Recover and restore Grants.gov operations at an alternate processing site soon after disruption or disaster at the current hosting site
  • Minimize data loss to prevent users from having to resubmit grant applications
  • Optimize system processing capacity at the alternate processing site to support daily operations until service at the primary site can be restored

Rather than incur the high cost of a fully-redundant production facility, Grants.gov has decided on a dual-use secondary facility that makes optimal use of available program funding. This option calls for physically relocating our testing and training environments to an alternate site, which will be re-purposed for production and on-going system operations in the event of a disaster. This option will also increase the utility of existing equipment and reduce the purchase of additional hardware and licenses needed to continue operations. Essentially, Grants.gov will leverage current system contracts and resources to increase the effectiveness of our DR solution. The Grants.gov PMO continues its commitment to applicants, grantors, and other stakeholders by effectively managing operational risks and ensuring system reliability and availability. The Grants.gov DR program will be implemented in phases throughout FY 2011 and 2012.

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