CASE STUDY

Allied Building Products Corp. experiences the value of a disaster recovery plan

When previous storms impacted the data center of Allied Building Products Corp., the company made it through each crisis intact. But when Superstorm Sandy slammed the Northeast in the fall of 2012, Allied’s data center was put to the test.

“A data disaster will never happen to me,” thought Scott Fischer, Director of IT Operations at Allied Building Products Corp. “At least that’s what I thought. And then it did.”

As Hurricane Sandy rolled ashore, Fischer watched on video surveillance monitors from his offsite location in North Dakota, helpless as the water level grew up to five feet outside Allied’s data center in New Jersey.

By midnight, after the power went out, we realized our data center was lost,” he recalls. “I immediately got on the phone with Sungard Availability Services. They were kind, caring and compassionate as they led me through the process of declaring and dealing with this kind of a disaster.”

With 30-plus years of managing recovery, Sungard AS employs a proven approach to anticipating and solving a wide range of availability challenges for clients such as Allied Building Products Corp.

As far back as 1999 when Allied was preparing for the Y2K turnover, the company installed a new system to integrate and manage information across its organization. After surviving the turn of the century, Allied decided it needed a robust disaster recovery (DR) plan and went searching for the right partner: Sungard AS, the pioneer and leader in IT availability and data recovery. The partnership continues to grow today.

The aftermath of a disaster

When Sandy made landfall, Fischer made arrangements for his teams to meet in Philadelphia the next day. Working hand-in-hand with their Sungard AS representative, the Allied team arrived at 2p.m. Tuesday, just 16 hours after their facility was impacted.

Because Allied Building Products Corp. deals with a high volume of customer orders on a daily basis, it was critical to have a fully operational computing environment. Without systems and a network, Fischer explains, employees didn’t know what orders were left unfulfilled and what supplies they had on hand across their 200 distribution locations.

In Philadelphia, Sungard AS provided Allied with a rotating team always available to Fischer and his colleagues as they rebuilt their computer center. Sungard AS knows every organization has differing needs, so it has fine-tuned its recovery services approach to provide ultimate flexibility to meet any client’s business requirements.

The Allied team faced several ensuing challenges, but none that Sungard AS couldn’t solve. At one point, when Fischer and several colleagues couldn’t get a particular server to restart, a Sungard AS representative recommended using a different version of the operating system. This immediately resolved the issue.

Results

With Sungard AS disaster recovery plans in place, Allied Building Products Corp. successfully recovered 100 percent of its business applications. In Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, Allied wasted no time moving its computing environment into a professional data center – high above ground level.

Sungard AS currently provides cabinet space in Carlstadt, NJ where Allied keeps warm or ready-to-go equipment. At the time of a disaster, Allied can connect to the Hotsite equipment listed on the recovery contract and continue with their restoration services.

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