A Chicago based insurance firm was facing a large capital expense to replace their aging existing infrastructure consisting of servers, storage and backup components. In addition, their current environment and off-site backup solution made it difficult to recovery applications and data in a timely fashion. Our customer needed to significantly improve their on-premise backup and off-site disaster recovery (DR) capability, and wanted to do so utilizing a single solution.
The firm also wanted to have the opportunity to utilize cloud resources to recover critical applications or their full environment if needed. By utilizing a service provider like Merrimac Solutions, the firm was able to significantly reduce their capital expenses (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) because there was no need to obtain a colo-location facility and the necessary hardware and software to build out a second site (for DR). Lastly, the firm can now focus on their core business strategies and utilize the Merrimac m.brella Managed Cloud for these added services.
For recommendations, the firm consulted with Merrimac Solutions, a strategic IT services company that had provided several solutions for it in the past. Merrimac has specialists in disaster recovery, storage, virtualization, including backup and recovery and business continuity solutions. It assessed the firm’s network, physical servers and backup processes.
Merrimac Solutions recommended a solution using best of breed technologies from Cisco, Nimble Storage, VMWare and Dell. The first step was to replace the physical servers with new Dell PowerEdge Servers running VMWare’s virtualization and 10 Gigabit connectivity to meet the performance requirements for today and in the future. Utilizing Cisco 10 Gigabit switches, and high performance Adaptive Storage from Nimble Storage, the firm has gained true high availability for their critical applications. Nimble Storage has some unique advantages such as in-line compression and data de-duplication, deep performance and capacity insight into your VMWare infrastructure through VMVision and Big-Data analytics engine name Infosight.
After building new virtual machines (VMs) and/or consolidating older systems to the new VMWare infrastructure, Merrimac then implemented Veeam Backup and Replication to provide on-premise and off-site backups for their critical systems. With Veeam in place, the firm can achieve image-level VM backups, granular restores for SQL and filesystems as well as utilize Merrimac’s m.brella Managed Cloud Backup and Recovery as a Service (BRaaS) for off-site backups and disaster recovery.
“Utilizing one application for both local backups and off-site backups (and Disaster Recovery), was critical” said John Quinn, Principal and Owner of Merrimac Solutions. Veeam’s robust features saved the firm time and money because of its robust features for backups and DR, while being managed by a single interface. The firm is also required to transmit off-site backups using an encrypted connection as well as store the backups in an encrypted format. “Veeam allows our customers to utilize Veeam Cloud Connect for secure transmit of the backups and includes AES 256 bit encryption so the backups at rest”, said Quinn. According to Quinn, “the Merrimac Managed Cloud Infrastructure as a Service allows the firm to perform restores of critical VMs using Veeam and test the full functionality of their applications and systems in their own sandbox.”
Implement new virtualized infrastructure, high performance storage and disaster recovery
Cost to replace the aging infrastructure as well as the cost to purchase all new hardware and maintain the hardware at a co-location facility.
Utilize new servers, storage and local backup hardware to provide the on-premise data protection and utilize Merrimac Solutions m.brella Managed Cloud for BRaaS and DRaaS.
The Merrimac Advantage:
By working with Merrimac Solutions, the firm was able to combine the purchases of the networking, servers, storage, virtualization software, backup and DR software as well as use the Merrimac professional services team for implementation and Merrimac’s cloud services for a truly one stop shop offering.