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Uninterrupted Support in Times of Crisis: UNGSC’s Twin Technology Centres

Submitted by Kristof Hamelryckx on 26 Apr 2023
26 Apr 2023

“We guarantee a lifeline in terms of communication and IT support for the field.” -Giovanna Ceglie, Director, UNGSC 

As the UN entity charged with providing logistics and IT support to all United Nations Peace Operations, as well as to several other UN entities, Funds and Programmes, the United Nations Global Service Centre (UNGSC) must ensure complete reliability of its services, even in times of disaster and crisis. 

To that end, UNGSC established Twin Technology Centres, leveraging its dual facilities in Brindisi, Italy, and Valencia, Spain. The unique Active-Active arrangements of the Centres are designed to provide uninterrupted connectivity to the field, ultimately supporting the safety of UN peacekeepers and personnel and averting potentially catastrophic consequences. 

The operational resilience of the Twin Technology Centres was demonstrated in a large-scale Disaster Recovery Exercise (DRX), conducted by UNGSC, in coordination with the United Nations Office of Information and Communication Technology (OICT). (View the video here.) 

1000 virtual machines, as well as all network connectivity services and applications, were shut down in Brindisi and instantly restored by the Centre in Valencia. Moreover, 54 applications and services were moved simultaneously from one Twin Centre to the other, meeting the planned Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and the Recovery Point Objective (RPO).  

In addition to the DRX, UNGSC also tested and successfully executed its Business Continuity Plan (BCP), to be initiated in case of a failure of the global IT support system. 

As UNGSC expands its client base, the Valencia-Brindisi Twin Technology Centres, supported by UNGSC’s ICT excellent professionals, provide a tangible lifeline of uninterrupted support to worldwide clients and critical UN operations globally.