Data is the oil of the digital era. For Evalueserve, a company specializing in research, analytics, big data, and data science, data is undoubtedly its most critical asset. The Swiss firm wanted its customers to have continuous access to mission-critical data even in case of a disaster. This meant, looking beyond traditional storage and coming up with a unique solution that ensured data availability, security and business continuity.
The need to ensure business continuity
“Our critical data was residing on-premise. We wanted to ensure copy of that data is also available somewhere. If there’s a disaster, it should still be available immediately, says Anuj Joshi, AVP-IT at Evalueserve.
The company wanted to look beyond tape storage to keep up with the growth in business, which led to massive volumes of data.
And the problem with traditional storage is the long waiting period that comes into play when data needs to be restored. “The idea was to reduce the wait time, which could be done by shifting it to cloud,” says Joshi.
Sachin Jain, CIO and CISO at Evalueserve, points out that data availability is the primary reason why the company opted for a hybrid solution. “In case of a local disaster or server failure, if the datacenter goes down the data should be available, which obviously ensures business continuity also at one point,” he explains.
Hybrid storage, with backup and disaster recovery
The journey started by figuring out data that matters the most. “We identified 60 mission-critical servers, which had data in some form. Once we identified it, our intent was to protect all of this data. And all we needed was something that can pull data from different servers and keep it in a single repository so there’s a single point of data that needs to be replicated,” Joshi explains.
“The biggest advantage of this solution is that even in case of data failure, it is always available to clients in the least possible time. This solution also meets users concern that data should be consistent and secure.”
Sachin Jain, CIO and CISO, Evalueserve
But such a transition involves downtime of critical applications. “While the implementation took us barely three to four months, planning took majority of the time. We asked all key stakeholders to specify how long they can wait in case their application goes down. And based on this we created rules which specified what will be replicated, which data and when,” he points out.
Evalueserve rolled out a hybrid storage solution based on a backup-and-disaster-recovery software and enterprise hybrid cloud storage for those 60 virtual servers.
The company replicates data from on-premise to cloud using the backup software. This data is captured as a cloud snapshot, which is available all the time. In the case of a disaster, the data can be accessed in real time on cloud. In case of a major contingency, the data can also be restored with cloud snapshots.
Automated backup for consistent and secure data
Earlier, nearly 60 hours were needed to completely backup business-critical data, which is now completely automated.
Highlighting the importance of data availability, Sachin Jain, CIO and CISO, Evalueserve, says, “the biggest advantage of this solution is that even in case of data failure, the data is always available to clients in the least possible time. This solution also meets users concern that data should be consistent and secure. It is encrypted along with deduplication and compression when it goes out and comes back.”
According to Anuj Joshi, AVP-IT at Evalueserve, this is a first of its kind deployment in Asia for server backup and real-time restoration.