In order to effectively manage its Disaster Recovery Operations, Africa’s leading oil and gas corporation, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC is planning to optimise its Disaster Recovery system for all of its existing and future applications that are on Disaster Recovery across its numerous subsidiaries in Nigeria and foreign operations.
In general, a disaster is a risk event that disrupts a business to such an extent and duration that it affects its ability to achieve its business objectives.
With this renewed drive, the corporation seeks continuity of it business operations, at all times, and any event that violates this assumption is a significant risk and are termed a business interruption event.
It is set to rely on the upgraded disaster recovery system to enliven its status monitoring and alert subsystem on all operations that are part of a Disaster Recovery solution.
Accordingly, the corporation wants its IT managers to be alerted via SMS and e-mail alerts on real-time basis on any adverse conditions that need immediate attention, eliminating potential delay in responding to situations that harm its operations.
Experts have suggested that the proposed solution need to provide a single dashboard to track DR readiness status of all the applications under Disaster Recovery regime.
According to IT experts, the solution should also be capable of reporting important health parameters like disk space, password changes, file addition/deletion to ensure DR readiness, while also integrating seamlessly with the existing setup without the need to reconfigure or remove existing application setup including clusters.
NNPC VSAT Network
According to the corporation, the connectivity of its headquarter with all its subsidiaries and field operations was through a Wide Area Network (WAN) that entailed the deployment of a VSAT earth station at the headquarter that serves as the communication hub and the installation of another earth station at every business units that are connected to the corporation’s network.
A satellite transponder in orbit deployed by a satellite service provider, INTELSAT facilitates the communication between earth stations. The transponder provides VSAT interconnectivity to earth stations located in a section(s) of the globe where it has coverage (footprint).
The design of the corporation’s VSAT network is a star topology, and to ensure high availability, therefore, there are central hubs installed within 6 Nodal Centres geographically located in Kaduna, Lagos, NPDC, Warri, Port Harcourt and NGC Warri, according to the NNPC.
In case of disaster or any major fault with any of the hub, therefore, traffic from all locations are automatically diverted to the fail-over hub. All 6 Nodal and 43 Remote Stations are in a Mesh Configuration with each other.
The VSAT Hub provides a minimum throughput of 5Mbps and 2Mbps on the outbound and inbound channels respectively to its various communication nodes, and support a myriad of NNPC business processes.
According to the corporation, the Nodal Stations process more data because they serve as the traffic interface for other NNPC locations in the various zones to the hub in Abuja. The Remote Stations carry relatively lighter voice and data traffic on a combined data rate of 2Mbps on the outbound and 1Mbps on the inbound channels.
The current efforts are also part of the larger plans to expand this network to all NNPC operational sites to extend coverage to over 300 locations.