Brian, I work for the Illinois State Police and we're implementing a very large (statewide) criminal justice system. Part of that system is a data warehouse (built with Oracle 10g, OWB). I'm in need of resources to help us along in our business continuity/disaster recovery planning. One of the many questions we're grappling with is, when do you address ETL in a disaster? Are there free resources you would advocate?
When performing any disaster recovery planning, the first step should be to identify your business processes. ETL is only one of the processes that your business performs. Your business may also generate products using information from the database, as just one example. After all of your business processes are identified and documented, the next part of the process is to quantify the business need for that process. For instance, a company like Amazon.com will lose tons of money if its customers cannot place orders and if the company cannot fulfill those orders. Those processes (order placement and order fulfillment) are very high on their list. Yet data mining their customers' order patterns are not as high on the list. In a disaster, it is more important to take and fulfill the orders than it is to learn about their customers habits. After this ranking process is complete, someone must draw a line somewhere in those processes. All processes above the line need to have a sound continuity/disaster plan. Those processes below the line will be handled after you have restored the essential processes. Someone has to draw the proverbial line in the sand. Continuity of operations costs additional monies that the company must pay for. The company should only pay for those essential processes that they must have after a disaster.
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