City of Safford - Continuous Availability and Instant Recovery
Background: Located in southeastern Arizona, the City of Safford is the Graham County seat and serves as home to over 9,000 people. The City of Safford was established in 1874 and serves as a regional retail, government, and service hub for Graham County and the surrounding area. Primarily an agricultural area, the City of Safford has also developed as a mining and light manufacturing center. Additionally, Safford serves as the retail center of southeast Arizona. Retail trade and services plays a significant role of the economy of the City.
Challenges: With more than 41,000 employees requiring different levels of access to the multitude of healthcare IT applications that comprise the organization’s IT infrastructure, Quest Diagnostics needed a solution that could go beyond distributed security by automating and enforcing identity management and access compliance policies across disparate systems and workflows. The scope of this challenge included access across 30-plus regional laboratories, 150 rapid response laboratories and over 2,000 patient service centers. Growth through acquisition in recent years had brought in a variety of systems with varied policies. Quest needed to ensure the enforcement of business roles and consistent policy across its entire organization. In Quest’s industry, ensuring rapid delivery of effective patient care is dependent upon readily available access to diagnostic information and systems, while ensuring patient data is protected at all times. Quest therefore needed to make sure that it could enforce and monitor who was accessing what information, and ensure that access was in accordance with a pre-defined set of roles for each job description.
“Asempra's BCS ensures that we meet our SLAs by recovering Exchange and SQL server data within 30 seconds after any storage failure. We use the BCS to protect our files, email, and SQL applications and data, and since our deployment we've been able to recover from any failure in seconds, saving days of IT time and costs. The BCS has paid for itself several times over in the 6 months since its installation.”
Derek Kruger, IT and Communications Supervisor
Issues: In the past year alone, Safford had suffered Exchange and SQL Server storage failures where recovery times took more than a day. Some key challenges the City faced were:
Recovery: The City of Safford needed to recovery as rapidly as possible to avoid the full day outages that had occurred on their Exchange and SQL Servers
Data Loss: Safford was seriously concerned about the strong possibility of data loss between nightly backups
Continuous Availability: The City needed the ability to recover individual objects, such as files, quickly to meet legal and compliance requirements.
Solution provided by Asempra: Asempra’s BCS solution protects SQL, Exchange, and Windows File Server applications and data through a patented approach that captures and indexes all data events, creating a virtualized data store that allows instantaneous recovery to any point-in-time. Using Asempra’s virtualized recovery and data protection technology (Virtual On-Demand Recovery(TM)), Exchange and SQL can be available as fast as 30 seconds after a storage failure. The BCS allows IT administrators to “roll back the clock” so that applications and their data are immediately available at any point-in-time just as they were before outages caused by storage failures, human error, virus outbreaks, or even a datacenter fire. The BCS delivers complete, uncorrupted data at all times, eliminating the need for multiple, costly manual recoveries that are frequently required when relying on traditional backup and restore technologies.
The BCS combines next-generation storage technologies into an all-in-one solution tailored to mid-market needs. Real-time continuous data protection, application availability, snapshot, replication, disk-based backup, and seamless tape backup technologies ensure business data is always available, 24x7. Bringing together multiple technologies in an easy-to-use solution is dramatically more cost-effective, and easier to manage for mid-size companies with limited IT resources.
“Asempra is very pleased to have empowered the City of Safford to provide 24x7 availability and data protection that supports their municipal employees and ultimately the community. Mid-market companies and local government organizations, like the City of Safford, appreciate a cost-effective, all-in-one solution that ensures continuous availability of Windows applications and data.”
Michael Hughes, vice president of sales at Asempra
Summary: The implementation of Asempra’s Business Continuity Server enabled the City the Safford to serve their customers at any time by restoring Exchange and SQL server data within seconds after a storage failure. Since deployment, the City of Safford has been able to recover Safford employee data in seconds as opposed to hours or days. The City of Safford plans to integrate Asempra’s Business Continuity Server, version 2.6 in their storage environment in the coming months. With the new off-host processing feature provided in BCS 2.6, the City of Safford plans to complete more effective testing on their SQL infrastructure before they go live with changes to their database.
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