As the country’s leading provider of equipment maintenance management and asset management programs, The Remi Group is charged with providing a cozy cost-effective financial blanket of warranty over its customers’ business-critical equipment. Under Remi’s watch, organizations can take comfort in the knowledge that skilled professionals have a firm handle on maintaining records for their often hundreds of pieces of important equipment. Remi customers find that the chaos caused by equipment downtime is kept to a minimum and equipment uptime is maximized. Further, they can use Remi’s proprietary applications to manage and view their service costs, their assets and more so they are kept in the loop.
But Todd Huntley, infrastructure director at Remi, worried that, should disaster hit, prolonged system downtime would compromise Remi’s ability to serve its customers as quickly and efficiently as it always had. “I was reviewing our DR and BC plans and thinking, ‘It looks good on paper, but it’s completely unrealistic in the time it would take to get things back up and running again after a disaster,'” recalled Huntley.
Huntley had good reason to worry. Remi’s legacy system, Symantec BackupExec, involved off-site tape rotations and nightly tape backups of a few of the company’s primary production systems, which included Remi’s core SQL server, core domain controllers and file servers. But as the tapes themselves held only about 700GB of data, Remi’s secondary systems weren’t backed up at all. “We ended up eating a lot of tape quickly, which meant that we couldn’t back up our entire network,” he explained. “None of our testing or development environments were backed up, so if a disaster took out our servers, our software developers working on proprietary applications would potentially lose weeks’ worth of work. That loss of productivity would almost certainly affect our customers.”
Testing was also an issue. “The best it could do was file restores, but it was all tape backup, so it was kind of lengthy,” said Huntley. “As far as a bare-metal restore, I’d have to do it to a device that was in use because we had no redundant systems to test it out.” Given these critical shortcomings, Huntley determined that they simply had to do better.
No sooner had Huntley decided to scrap his Symantec BackupExec than Quorum came to town with a lunch and learn. By this time, Huntley had done some research and was intrigued by Quorum’s capabilities. “When we heard that with Quorum we could run the system that’s backing up internal to the device as if it’s sitting on our own network, it seemed to be the perfect fit.”
Huntley was also drawn to Quorum’s simplicity. “We took a look at some really nice back-end disk array systems for mass storage for BDI capabilities, but they would have required we take some extra steps in order to do anything with them,” he said. “Nothing was built into them. Quorum was contained in one unit, and required no licensing external to the unit that I was going to have to maintain separately.”
Satisfied that Quorum met every requirement outlined — namely, ease of use; on-demand and automatic testing; and one-click backup, recovery and continuity — Remi invested in two Quorum solutions. They were deployed in October 2012.
The Quorum solution proved itself early on in its tenure at Remi. About two weeks after Quorum’s deployment, a VIP visit coincided with the untimely death of one of Remi’s domain controllers. “The morning of our VIP visit, I came in to work and found that our domain controller bit the dust,” Huntley recalled. “Using Quorum, I had going again in five minutes, and nobody even knew what happened. If we had to rely on tapes to get our domain controller back up and running that day, we would have been scrambling.”
Ultimately, the VIPs made a significant investment in the business, which provides some idea of just how important this visit was — and how critical it was to have all systems go. “They brought a team of people with them, including their IT consultant, to do due diligence on us and ask questions about our operation,” said Huntley. “One of the questions the consultant asked was if we had DR and BC plans in place. I was able to respond with an emphatic, ‘Yes!’ Then he asked if we ever tested. Again, thinking of the disaster we just averted with Quorum, I said, ‘Yes,’ and added, ‘As a matter of fact, I’m testing right now.'”
Today, Quorum is protecting 10 of Remi’s servers. “We’ve been quite happy with Quorum,” said Huntley. “It does everything I need it to do: It gets our system back up and running quickly, it’s easy to use — it’s a no-brainer.”
One-click, instant recovery of data, applications and systems
On-demand and automatic testing
Delivers required redundancy and continuity
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