Small Insurance & Financial Services Firm Ensures its Ability to Serve Customers
As an insurance and financial services firm, Thornton Powell understood the value of protecting assets and preparing for the unexpected. But as a 26-person company with just one staffer available for computer support, it didn’t understand how to apply the principles of protection and disaster preparedness to its own operations. Thornton Powell’s computer systems needed insurance of a different kind, and Merrimac Solutions was called on to be the agent of change.
Merrimac was called in for a consultation and was asked to assess the company’s IT infrastructure. During the assessment phase, Merrimac was able to secure some hard-to-find, discontinued parts to keep the Thornton Powell’s servers running. A technology refresh was clearly needed. Rather than specifying straight replacements for the old hardware, Merrimac recommended changes that would improve system reliability without driving up costs or support requirements.
The company previously backed up its data to tape – when time permitted, not on a predetermined, regular schedule. During the system assessment Merrimac estimated it would take the company three or four days to restore systems after an outage, but the data that was recovered could be much older.
“Our database has all our client information and we update it many times every day,” said Matt Thornton of Thornton Powell. “If anything happened it would be practically impossible to rebuild that database.”
Merrimac recommended remote backup (via their Backup-and-Recovery-as-a-Service) to supplement the new server and storage infrastructure. Merrimac installed backup software on the client’s servers, which now automatically back up each night to Merrimac’s own data center. If systems fail at the customer’s office, they can be restored quickly over a standard network connection, or recovered in the Merrimac m.brella cloud.
“The remote backup solution encrypts all data and runs over an Internet connection, which is a real advantage because it saves the cost of having to set up a virtual private network,” said John Quinn of Merrimac Solutions. “Plus, now the client has its backups at a modern, professionally staffed and managed data center, which is a big upgrade over what most companies can do for themselves.”
That’s exactly the kind of system insurance the client needed, and it came without having to pay a heavy premium to purchase, install and manage a disaster recovery infrastructure.
"Merrimac Solutions is really current with the new technologies and products that are available, and made some very helpful suggestions to us,” said Thornton. “Merrimac has shown genuine care and concern for the condition of our agency's IT infrastructure, and has helped us to secure our most valuable information. It's been comforting to have the support of a professional and technically cutting-edge firm like Merrimac Solutions.”
- Upgrade old, non-supported servers.
- Develop backup and disaster recovery capability.
- Small budget.
- Ease of use a key requirement; company has one IT staffer
- Web-based offsite backup to third-party facility to provide DR capability for new servers.
The Merrimac Advantage:
- Merrimac leveraged shared backup infrastructure to keep costs extremely low.
- “Merrimac has shown genuine care and concern for the condition of our agency's IT infrastructure, and has helped us to secure our most valuable information.”