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Computer problem that hit DMVL offices a test of disaster recovery

November 21, 2012
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A computer problem caused an unexpected statewide shutdown of motor vehicle licensing offices, but it also provided the opportunity to test Honolulu's disaster recovery plan for the first time.

The system worked, according to KITV-TV.

Staff at motor vehicle licensing offices first started having trouble getting access to the mainframe around 11:30 a.m. Friday. At first, officials were told the problem would be fixed in about half an hour, but it took longer than that.

Officials offices were able to process written driver's license tests and taxi cab tests, but they were forced to shut down for the rest of the day.

"This is the first time that has ever occurred in my thirty-five plus years where the computer has been shut down for more than thirty minutes, said Dennis Kamimura, city customer services director.

It appears that the problem was a computer hardware failure.

Department of Information and Technology Director Gordon Bruce said when officials realized the main computer system would require a new part, they kicked in the protocol for disaster recovery. The system was fixed and switched back by midnight.

"We came in this morning and we had to reset some routers at the various satellite city halls, which was expected. Once we did that, then the systems started working," Bruce said Monday.

The concern still lies in how well the licensing offices will be able to handle the estimated extra 60,000 customers a year when the state hands over state ID processing services to the city in January.

"The state DOT is providing the counties with funding to hire staff," Kamimura said.



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