Hallite Seals International is a major supplier of hydraulic and pneumatic seals to the global fluid power industry. The company runs a 24/7 manufacturing operation to meet customer demand. Any disruption of their emails, account management or order system has immediate implications to the business.
Hallite had been using a tape backup strategy to secure their critical systems but a determination had been made that the possible Recovery Time Objective (RTO) presented by tape was too slow to meet the company’s needs. The old tape-based backup process required a minimum of four hours to recover data and return the manufacturing company to operational status, which represented a serious loss of productivity for the 200+ employees and far exceeded Hallite’s maximum tolerable outage (MTO). Also, there was a further significant problem based on the fact that as much as a full day’s work could be lost if a hardware failure took place close to the end of the business day, prior to the start of the nightly tape backup process.
Finally, the IT staff at Hallite were hard pressed to manage their existing workload. It was considered advantageous to engage a company that would assume responsibility for the time consuming process of data and system backup and recovery.
In November of 2011, Hallite subscribed to MSP DATAFORT’s Critical Care High Availability service – a near replication speed onsite/offsite server imaging and data archival service – to protect their most business critical servers. They have also subscribed to Vaulting Plus, a service which includes onsite/offsite server imaging and data archival but with a slower Recovery Time Objective – to protect the remaining servers that host less business critical applications.
The services are fully managed and provide both local images of the server infrastructure as well as copies maintained in financial grade data centres. The data centre copies are used as the resource for disaster recovery, while the local images are used as a resource to recover lost data, from server failure or to provide information to Hallite’s internal compliance officer.
Jim Parker, Information Technology Manager at Hallite comments, “Being a 24/7 operation it is critical for us to have a disaster recovery capability in place that enables us to recover any and all data immediately and return us to full operation as rapidly as possible. We work literally every hour available so do not have the luxury of being able to make up time elsewhere in the week, making effective and reliable disaster recovery and business continuity an absolute necessity.” Parker continues, “Prior to implementing the DataFort solution, we were relying on a manual data backup which consisted of manually replacing and cycling tapes and a USB hard drive. Retrieving the data in the case of a disaster could take hours, and since the backups happened nightly they could be as much as 24 hours out of date. In order to minimise disruption and cost to our business, we needed to be able to return to operation within an hour and have access to data that was created throughout the day. DataFort’s portfolio of services exceeded even those strict requirements as it will now take us a maximum of 15 minutes to return to operation and we will have a copy of all our data that in a worst case is a quarter of an hour old.”
IParker concludes, “I know some business people imprudently consider high quality and reliable disaster recovery a “nice-to-have” or a luxury, but for a company such as ours speedy recovery is an absolute necessity and a business function that simply has to be taken seriously.”
Critical Care brought server Recovery Time Objectives down to 15 minutes of a reported issue. In a disaster recovery situation functioning virtual copies of the Critical Care protected servers would be brought to alternative offices within 24 hours of the disastrous event to allow the start of the business recovery process. The Vaulting Plus images would also be brought to the premises at the same time so that when new servers were sourced the images could be used to efficiently rebuild the second tier servers as well..”
Managed Service Provider (MSP) DataFort has been providing high security, FCA compliant services to the UK financial and legal services industry since 2000. With their award winning high availability and cloud services, DATAFORT brings enterprise grade security and continuity within the reach of smaller businesses.
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