Hosting and DR that inspires confidence
The Verus primary IT infrastructure is hosted in a Sungard AS data center in the western U.S., with server, storage and network equipment housed in numerous cabinets in a secure, caged area. The Verus failover infrastructure is hosted in a Sungard AS data center in the eastern U.S., which also houses a vaulting solution to manage backup and restore for terabytes of data.
“We worked with Sungard AS to design a fairly straight forward failover,” says Lee, “so if there’s any problem at the primary data center, we declare disaster, and can quickly bring up our failover infrastructure to continue operations.”
The most recent DR test confirmed once again that Verus can restore its email and enterprise applications within an hour and restore the analytic engine within 48 hours.
Isolated secure infrastructure satisfies customer audits
With Sungard AS as its hosting provider, Verus gains the benefits of world-class data centers and operational expertise, as well as the security of isolated infrastructure and networks to meet the stringent requirements of its customers. Verus runs its own dedicated MPLS network into the primary infrastructure cage in Scottsdale, and Sungard AS provides primary and backup network services if Verus declares a disaster.
“Because we are doing work for state customers, much of the data we handle is extremely sensitive,” explains Lee. “They want to make sure the data they provide to us is totally protected and 100 percent auditable. We’ve passed many audits and gained numerous certifications, including SOC 1 and SOC 2 compliance, as well as some ISO certifications. We are also qualifying to meet IRS standards to handle federal tax data so we are prepared to pursue opportunities in that area.”
Lee says that Verus spends more than a month each year either preparing for or performing audits. “Sungard AS has made the auditing process a lot simpler for us,” he says. “We’ve never had an auditor demand to go visit our data center, because Sungard AS has certifications that meet their criteria, as well as a proven reputation and track record.”
“With Sungard AS as a partner, we gain instant credibility with auditors,” he says. “Once they understand that we contract with Sungard AS for hosting both our primary IT and a DR site—and that we have a Sungard AS certificate citing the successful DR test we perform every year— it eliminates a lot of additional questions about data center infrastructure.”
“We don’t have a large staff in IT,” Lee continues, “but together with Sungard AS, we can prove to auditors that we know what we’re doing and that we have everything under control. Then, we can move along to respond to questions about our applications and how we protect the data we get.”
Workplace Recovery Services for resilient business operations
Verus takes a broad view of business resiliency, assessing risks beyond IT to prepare for events that may impact its people and offices. “Our primary concern is for our personnel in Southern California,” says Lee. “We’ve built our infrastructure in such a way that if an earthquake—or the so-called ‘big one’— happens, all of our personnel are equipped with remote computing capabilities. So, we don’t have to come into the office to work, and our business operations can continue even if a workplace is unavailable.”
Those same capabilities extend to regional office personnel, as well. “In New York City, if midtown is closed due to a terrorist threat, our personnel can work from home or another location,” Lee adds.
Hosting offers a clear path for growth
Verus recently worked with Sungard AS to expand its primary IT infrastructure, acquiring additional floor space and new cabinets. Now, Verus is embarking on a technology refresh, swapping out older servers and replacing them with newer servers that use a smaller profile. “We’re able to have more computing capacity within the same physical space,” says Lee. “Sungard AS was able to support the power and cooling requirements of the higher-density infrastructure.”
The Verus core business, the unclaimed property audit services, continues to grow, and Verus is ramping up the new lines of business. The expanded floor space is sized to accommodate additional infrastructure that will support the company’s growth projections.