State’s data centre has no backup

What if a disaster, natural or man-made, strikes the Karnataka State Data Centre (KSDC) in Bengaluru? All data generated and stored from government departments will vanish into thin air.

The KSDC, the nerve centre for all IT-related applications and activities of various departments in the State, does not have a backup for recovering data in case of an eventuality, a top government official told The Hindu.

Currently, the State data centre is located at the Vikasa Soudha and the Khanija Bhavan on Race Course Road — both places are less than a kilometre away from each other. These two centres, according to officials, host different sets of applications and store different data, and both are not backed by a secondary server located in a different location that could help in recovery of data in an eventuality.

Another senior government official confirmed this, but said the government has been considering several proposals to set up a disaster recovery centre.

“While Belagavi has been considered as one of the locations, there is also a proposal to tie up with the National Informatics Centre’s servers located at Bhubaneswar, Pune, or Delhi,” he said. He also pointed out that there are several backup modes to protect the data.

The first data centre was set up during 2004-05 to provide a common infrastructure to various departments that were setting up applications to ease the government’s interface with the public. While the earlier records are in physical form, the data generated after IT applications were introduced in various departments are in the electronic form stored at the data centres.

The official said discussions had been on for several years now to set up a disaster recovery centre. “If the idea is to keep a physical backup at the office level for the data stored in the centre, then the whole idea of information technology is defeated,” he said.

Discussions on establishing a backup facility for data storage and continuity, or a disaster recovery centre was initiated about eight years ago. “Several communications have taken place at the government level, but no concrete action has been taken. In early 2000, Karnataka took the lead in IT applications in public spaces, but has been slack in the last decade. Not having a disaster recovery, a primary necessity in storage space of such large magnitude, also mirrors the State’s interest in IT applications,” another official said.

Experts and officials concur that the disaster recovery centres are usually set up in different seismic zones for big corporates or at least in different cities to enable continuity of operations in case of disruption at one data centre. “To set up a disaster recovery centre in a different seismic zone or in a different city is expected to cost the State heavily, while its maintenance is also expensive. However, it does not prohibit the State to look at different options to keep the data safe and provide continuity in services if a disaster strikes Bengaluru,” the official said.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 11:33:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/states-data-centre-has-no-backup/article18493015.ece

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