Network Solution Brief

Managed Backup & Disaster Recovery Service for a Vermont Non-Profit

Date: September 2018

Industry: Finance

location: Burlington, VT

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Project Overview

  • The client required a reliable solution to protect the organization’s IT systems in the event of a disaster.
  • The client had negative past experiences with disaster recovery services and was highly skeptical of solutions.
  • SymQuest spearheaded a 30 day pilot program of a managed backup enterprise disaster recovery solution, far exceeding the client’s expectations in terms of reliability, cost, and ease.

Client: Vermont Housing Finance Agency

The Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is a non-profit with a mission to finance and promote affordable, safe, and decent housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. VHFA opens doors so that every Vermonter can have a home they can afford, which is the cornerstone for building healthy communities.

The Challenge:

The server infrastructure at VHFA hosts the business applications used by approximately 50 staff and is critical to their day to day operation.

VHFA required a reliable solution to protect the organization’s IT systems in the event of a disaster, without the need to invest in and maintain a second IT infrastructure at a remote location. They needed a disaster recovery (D/R) solution that would provide access to all business applications for the staff wherever they were located (working from home, at a temporary location, out in the field, etc.)

VHFA had previous experience with attempting to use other D/R solutions, none of which provided the ease of use, reliability, and cost effectiveness they required.

Because of these poor experiences with other D/R solutions, VHFA executive management had high expectations and a “show me” attitude when evaluating a new service.

The Solution:

SymQuest has a long history as VHFA’s trusted IT partner.

Because VHFA utilizes Veeam as their backup software, SymQuest recommended that VHFA evaluate a Managed Backup Enterprise disaster recovery service using Veeam.

The managed backup service allowed VHFA to lean on their existing investment and knowledge with Veeam, while adding the disaster recovery service as an extension to the cloud to provide replication and failover in the event of a disaster.

The SymQuest implementation team worked to identify the requirements and definition of success for VHFA, and configured the firewall settings necessary to connect the VFHA network with the secure data centers.

The 30 Day Pilot – Solution Validation for VHFA

SymQuest spearheaded a 30 day pilot to prove the effectiveness of the managed backup D/R solution for VHFA.

The test criteria of the pilot included:

  • Ability to replicate all critical servers to the backup data centers
  • Allow VHFA staff to perform a test failover to any or all servers in the backup data centers
  • Allow VHFA to measure the time to activate the servers
  • Ability to test remote access to the servers via VPN (simulating the connecting during a disaster)
  • Evaluate the ease of use of the solution

The Results:

The Managed Backup Enterprise D/R solution exceeded all of VHFA’s criteria.

Today, all critical servers are replicated to the managed backup data center, at a much lower cost than any of the previous solutions.

VHFA has the ability to test their failover and D/R plan any time, and has the confidence that their staff can access their servers in the event of a site disaster to keep their organization functioning.

“Something is wrong – it can’t be this easy”

Rick Jean, IT Manager for VHFA, said “Something is wrong – it can’t be this easy…it can’t be true.”

He went on to say “We thought we were only going to test one server at a time, but we were able to spin up all 10 servers in the data center in under one hour.”

Regarding the implementation, Rick said “The service was great from both SymQuest and the implementation team. They worked with us to configure Veeam properly, configure our firewall to connect to the managed backup data center, and gave us the training we needed to be able to test the failover using the managed backup enterprise’s console.”

The managed backup D/R service checked all the boxes for VHFA. They went from being highly skeptical that they would ever find an effective D/R solution, to being a raving fan.

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