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Subject: Re: Storage of tapes and other media - A Bit OT
From: Kathleen Fortenberry <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 5 Dec 2006 05:18:02 -0800

text/plain (73 lines)

Hi Gerard,
  I was going to stay out of this basically because of time and timing but ....
  I am a CRM and have been in Records & Information Management (from the records side) for almost 25 years.  I have worked very closely with IT for the majority of that time.  When I did not, it was usually because IT would not work with the "records group".
  Generally, I recommend that the records managers work with IT on the requirements and selection of vendors for the storage of business information (this usually includes the tapes because they have business information).  IT wants fast, reliable, on time service.  BCP (if they are involved) wants protection and the ability to restore quickly for emergencies.  Records needs to weight all the factors so that there is quick reliable service, protection for the long term (if record tapes are involved) and recovery purposes for disasters, etc.  I also recommend that when you check out possible vendors, you look at their history.  Have they been involved in breaches, publicized problems, etc.  I check with current and previous (I like them better) clients and I also don't rely only on the list of contacts provided by the potential vendor.  I request a walk through of the facility so that I can see first hand what is actually provided versus what is offered. 
  The standard requirements for maintaining business information in electronic format can be fairly generic (how long for a fire, what kinds of suppression system, how quick is their emergency delivery, what hours do they have, etc.) which you do need to make sure works for you particular situation.  But I like to the actual hands-on, walk-thru, show-me-the-goods approach.  It takes longer but by using this approach, there have very few instances where we were disappointed by our choice.
  Hope this helps.
  Kathleen Fortenberry, CRM
  Fortenberry & Associates, Inc.

"Gerard J. Nicol" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Thanks for the reply.

It is kind of what I was looking for, but you can not necessarily do this
exercise on paper.

What I was more looking for was what you might look for if you visited a
facility, and what you might look for in a handling process.

There are numerous discussions going on in our industry about standards, and
in some cases a perceived lack of standards.

For some the motivation appears to be a simplification of the selection
process; that is if you meet certain criteria then you are eligible for
business, and obviously if you do not meet these criteria you are

You say that you would look for a four hour fire rating, but what does it
mean to have a four hour fire rating if the tapes are in an area that might
burn for a week?

Hugh will tell you that you should avoid concrete vaults, especially if they
are underground, but most of the facilities in the world are concrete, and
many of the largest are underground.

IT have many diverse, perverse and contradictory criteria for selecting a
vendor. For instance some vendors report requirements for marked vehicles,
while others are required to have unmarked vehicles.

Does having an unmarked/marked vehicle really matter, or should it be up to
the client to decide what is best for them? Should they be given a choice or
should the industry take an initiative?

In the offsite data protection industry we rarely come across records
managers. If you listen to Peter, Larry and Hugh they constantly tell of the
reality of increasing RM involvement.

Is this a role that RM wants or needs to be involved in? 

There is no sinister motive in me asking this question. Some of us are
trying to develop education programs to increase awareness of our industry.
We do not want to waste your time or ours if RM are simply on the fringes of
the process.


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