Cementos Progreso, founded in 1899, is the largest producer and distributor of cement and other construction materials in South America with more than 1,800 employees. Based in Guatemala, tumultous weather conditions mean the risk of natural disaster in the region remains high. Knowing that in the event of a major earthquake, demand for cement for rebuilding projects would soar, the company explored options to protect its business from disruption.
The firm already had a colocation site within Guatemala but Romeo Chavez Morales, manager of IT infrastructure for Cementos Progreso, realised that for true resilience the company needed to implement disaster recovery provision outside the country to avoid losing access to the twelve critical business applications, including SAP, the business relies on.
He embarked on a search for an availability partner to protect the business. “We did extensive research online and within our industry and everyone told us that Sungard Availability Services was a great partner for business continuity,” says Romeo Chavez Morales. He also understood the Sungard AS approach of focusing first on the business challenges rather than the technology.
Romeo Chavez Morales originally assumed Cementos Progreso would simply use colocation services to backup its data in another country with a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of 24 hours. But he found that “Sungard offered a solution that was intriguing – not to mention cost-effective.” The solution Sungard AS proposed was its Recover2CloudSM for Server Replication service, which would give Cementos Progreso the ability to replicate all twelve of its critical applications, including SAP, with an RPO of less than 30 minutes and a RTO of under four hours. As well as superior recovery times, the cement manufacturer would benefit from managed replication with failover, no need for capital expenditure and operating expenses that were lower than a traditional colocation alternative.
Recover2CloudSM for Server Replication is an automated recovery solution for physical and virtual servers with near zero data loss in an always-on secure, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure. All aspects of replication, failover and recovery are monitored and managed by Sungard AS and the service is backed by a cast iron Service Level Agreement. Giving customers added peace of mind, the Continuous Data Protection feature enables recovery to a point in time within three days of an interruption, which can prove useful in the event of data corruption on the source server.
“We now have the ability to replicate all our applications in less than four hours in the event of a disaster” Romeo Chavez Morales, Manager of IT Infrastructure, Cementos Progreso
Romeo Chavez Morales and his team travelled to Sungard Availability Services’ Philadelphia HQ to see Sungard AS’s state-of-the-art facilities firsthand and was impressed. “We spoke with engineers and other technical personnel and they really amazed us with how the technology works,” he says.
Romeo Chavez Morales had initially been concerned that a faraway recovery solution would require a significant investment in equipment, infrastructure and maintenance – or the hiring of a third party to support it. Allaying his concerns, he discovered the protected recovery environment is monitored 24/7 and Sungard AS provides the human support necessary to ensure the service works 100% of the time.
Implementation was painless. “Sungard had our system up and running seamlessly,” reports Romeo Chavez Morales. “We now have the ability to replicate all twelve of our applications in the event of a disaster in less than four hours, which is truly remarkable.” Sungard AS’s Recover2Cloud service has given Cementos Progreso confidence that the business would continue as usual in the event of a disaster. Romeo Chavez Morales explains, “A natural disaster could occur at any time here in Guatemala and because we rely on Sungard our country can rely on us when it needs to get back on its feet. We don’t think of Sungard as a provider – they are our partner.”
“We don’t think of Sungard as a provider – they are our partner.” Romeo Chavez Morales, Manager of IT Infrastructure, Cementos Progreso