DR for a business in transition
The company’s diverse IT infrastructure resulted in several legacy systems that support key functions such as finance and accounting, procurement, point-of-sale transactions, store replenishment and product development. The underlying infrastructure includes both physical and virtual servers as well as numerous storage platforms. The environment is inherently complex — and is evolving in real time.
Rapid recovery from a disruption is increasingly critical to the firm, a business that operates on seasonal cycles in highly competitive markets.
As the company delivers on new product designs, it needs to move merchandise rapidly into stores. Interruptions to systems anywhere along the supply chain could impact business performance as well as customer satisfaction.
“The Sungard AS team worked with our team to identify dependencies, our overall needs, and our requirements,” says the senior manager. “They designed an architecture that works for our unique situation.”
The proof is in the testing
The company’s IT team worked with Sungard AS engineers to conduct a proof of concept to ensure the Recover2Cloud design performed as expected with key elements of the technology environment, including VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) for the virtualised environment, server replication for the physical servers, and data replication in a hot site configuration. “The POC went off without a hitch,” says the senior manager, “so we moved ahead with plans to implement the solution and conduct a user acceptance test.” A team of more than 20 Sungard AS technical staff contributed to the Recover2Cloud implementation and successful test—from network and cloud architects and engineers to data centre operations and recovery specialists.
“The Sungard AS team provided expert advice and a ‘right-fit’ solution,” says the senior manager. “The Recover2Cloud solution adds value to our overall disaster recovery plan by delivering significantly improved recovery times. Data is now replicated on a much more frequent basis, and we’ve gone from a 48-hour RTO to an 8-hour RTO.”
He says the solution covers nearly all of the targeted virtual machines and physical servers, “but we do still have the earlier DR solution protecting a small number of legacy systems that were not compatible with the cloud-based DR. That’s no fault of Sungard AS. Eventually we’ll migrate those clusters of servers over to virtual machines and include them in the cloud recovery.”
The company also looks to Sungard AS for Workplace Recovery Services. The longstanding contract covers dedicated office space, connectivity, and equipment for 25 employees should the company headquarters offices be unavailable due to an incident. “It’s a small number of seats at a nearby Sungard AS recovery centre,” he says. “It will support key personnel that are critical to our business continuity.”