Business Challenges: Moving away from tape backup
Based in Houston, Texas, Atinum Energy Investments is an energy-focused private investment firm that invests across the energy spectrum in North America and manages assets all over the country. Atinum is the energy arm of one of the largest independent investment companies in the Asia-Pacific region, Seoul-based Atinum Partners. It combines the resources of Asia with local relationships and knowledge of the North America energy industry.
The company’s IT infrastructure consists of 30 servers with 18TB of live data serving 35 employees. For a number of years, Atinum had relied on tape backups to protect its data against possible failure but the system was proving to be cumbersome and time-consuming.
IT manager Brent Roye was responsible for storing 24 tapes every week in a safety deposit box in a vault at the company’s bank and taking out a similar number of older tapes. The process of transporting the tapes to the bank and bringing back the older ones could take as much as three hours to complete. Restores were also time-consuming. In addition, the cost of the tapes was rising as the company acquired newer tapes based on more modern technology such as LTO 4 and LTO 5.
Altinum decided to explore alternative methods of protecting and recovering its data.
“With Quorum, we can bring up the entire business in the remote DR site in less than an hour and direct everybody to it via a VPN”
Brent Roye, Network Administrator
The Solution:Quorum’s onQ with the hybrid cloud solution disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solution
Attending a seminar in Austin, Brent saw a demo of Quorum and was instantly impressed. The company had considered a number of options from other manufacturers but opted for Quorum because it provided everything Antium was looking for and while other vendors were moving in the same direction, they were further behind.
Brent decided to deploy Quorum’s onQ with the hybrid cloud solution disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solution. The onQ hybrid cloud synchronizes with the onsite onQ high-availability (HA) appliance after each update, creating a virtual machine clone in the cloud. The clone can be run in the cloud after a disaster or for testing, with or without the presence of the local onQ high-availability (HA) appliance or image.
This solution provides organizations such as Atinum with a superior way to recover the most critical applications and data in the cloud after any storage, systems or site failure. Critical applications are always ready-to-run (or test) in the Quorum cloud by working in conjunction with the on-premise onQ HA appliance. There is no need to ship new hardware or construct a machine from an image after a disaster and the recovery time is measured in minutes. The value to Atinum extends beyond DR as the company now has a foolproof way to quickly test new machines, processes and applications if it chooses prior to putting them into production.
Quorum is also diligent about the security of the data transferred from the onsite onQ to the hybrid cloud backup. All data goes through a 128-bit AES encrypted session over a 256 bit AES VPN tunnel directly connecting the cloud to the local appliance. A dedicated firewall isolates each individual virtual network enabling access to the DR recovery node. All connections to the DR nodes are done via VPN to the firewall.
Atinum added Quorum Archive Vault extension to give it unlimited growth potential with the ability to extend to more than 200TBs across 8 disk storage modules and create an offsite repository for converging backup and archive copies of data in addition to one-click disaster recovery capabilities.
The Benefits: The IT department can now meet aggressive RPO and RTO service requirements
By implementing Quorum, Atinum has acquired a powerful, modern and scalable disaster recovery and backup solution that provides immediate backup and restores at the click of a button. The IT department can now meet aggressive RPO and RTO service requirements to help keep the energy business viable in a competitive market. “With Quorum, we can bring up the entire business in the remote DR site in less than an hour and direct everybody to it via a VPN,” Brent says. “You can do file level restores or entire server restores in a very short amount of time versus days.”
On one occasion, he had to replace data drives on the SQL Server and rebuild the RAID. He was able to spin the server up in Quorum, let it run, do a bare metal restore and have it back up and running without disruption.
Quorum has also provided Atinum with a test environment when the IT department wants to rebuild the infrastructure or implement initiatives without risking downtime. Brent can boot servers into a separate network and run updates to see if they break anything. “It (Quorum) gives you a test environment which is very useful because a lot of IT department may not be able to get approval for a test environment. It’s not just a backup appliance. I use it to move virtual machines around while I’m making changes to the host. For instance, I can bring all my production servers up for the monthly patches and see what breaks. That’s a big feature.”
In addition, Atinum estimates that installing Quorum has saved a huge amount of time compared to the previous system of tape backups because the IT team does not have to take a stack of tapes to the bank every Monday. Brent estimates, “Quorum’s DRaaS solution has freed up about 20-30% of my time a week.”
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