Recover2Cloud and Managed Vaulting
Clarke was confident he could get the best possible recovery environment with Sungard AS. Sungard AS, for instance, offered a 100 percent virtualised production environment with VMware, the Cloud and virtualisation software from VMware Inc. At the same time, tier one, two and three storage was being replaced by NetApp Inc.’s innovative storage and data management solution. Sungard AS had expertise with both VMware and NetApp.
“Sungard AS could provide everything Savanna needed, and no one else could match it on a technical level,” says Clarke. That proved to be the deciding factor.
Clarke presented his backup recommendation to Savanna President and CEO and his executive team. In the process, it became apparent the company didn’t have a formal disaster recovery plan.
“That set off some alarms,” says Clarke. He laid out the options, with the presentation centred on the Sungard AS technology he could leverage. The Sungard AS option proved a “very good fit” based on technology and price, Clarke says.
“That was good because some people consider Sungard AS quite expensive, but I challenge them to go through the process and look at all the costs for disaster recovery. I think you’ll find Sungard AS to be one of the best priced out there.”
Clarke found one other consideration in Sungard AS’ favour: it was the only vendor that gave him quick and professional answers to every question he asked. “What we heard repeatedly from competitors was, ‘We’ll have to get back to you.
The upshot? Savanna’s president approved the recovery services project. But based on concerns that the company didn’t have a strong disaster recovery plan, he set an earlier-than-planned deadline to get the new services in place. A September-October timeframe became a shorter mid-July date but, with a very smooth migration, Savanna’s full production environment moved to Sungard AS right on time.
Savanna ran its disaster recovery test simulation August 1 from its training room in Calgary. “Sungard AS was able to meet deadlines that were extremely aggressive,” Clarke says. “I didn’t think it was possible, but it was.”
A disaster strikes Calgary
Then a real disaster struck. June 2013 floods in Calgary caused heavy damage and destruction. Clarke was in Phoenix when one of his IT professionals told him Calgary was going to be under water from heavy rains. The data centre escaped flooding, but Sungard AS was prepared to switch to its backup facility in eastern Canada, if necessary.
Savanna’s main office in downtown Calgary was dark for 14 hours with zero connectivity from Friday to Saturday. “Now if something happens in Calgary, we’re OK,” the infrastructure manager emphasises.
Annual testing of the system will ensure that all processes are in place, and that the company’s disaster recovery procedures are still correct. Savanna is considering putting a data centre in the Houston area next year. Since Sungard AS is based in the U.S., this will help geographically in establishing its data centre away from the main operation.