Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies backs up to the cloud

After careful consideration and reviewing a number of competitive tenders, FujiFilm Diosynth selected Frontier Technology’s cloud computing disaster recovery solution, Frontier Continuity Service to meet their stringent business continuity requirements. The company chose this route because, according to Campbell Kay, IT manager, it was looking for a solution that was simple to implement without too much in upfront costs. Kay said, “I wanted real-time replication for our business-critical data, but as the company doesn’t have a second site in place already, this was an expensive option for us to put in place ourselves. Using a cloud services provider, therefore, seemed to be an obvious choice.”

The company currently backs up 4 TB to 5 TB but also wants the ability to expand as data volumes grow.

For Kay, the choice of provider was all about “taking the worry out of the situation as much as possible. This meant looking at what would happen in the event of a disaster or server outage, and that our data would be protected. I expected any provider that we looked at to solve those problems first and foremost,” he said.

Because of the markets the firm works in, it has to meet stringent industry regulations and client requirements for business continuity.

“The partner we work with takes care of everything,” said Kay, “and I know that if there is a problem on their end, everything is backed up to another location as well. It’s like having two DR plans in place.”

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies assessed alternatives such as non-cloud solutions, but Kay said most did not offer the level of protection he was after. “Some of them were based on taking snapshots of the systems or scheduled backups,” he said. “The problem with these options was that they still allowed for significant amounts of data to be lost. After doing a bit of research, I came across the term ‘real-time replication’ and realised this was what the company needed to reach not only our recovery time objectives but also our recovery point objectives.”

The cost was also a consideration, according to Kay, who said implementing a cloud computing solution meant upfront costs were a third cheaper than implementing a non-cloud alternative.

The system–which is based on Vision Solutions’ Double-Take–works by copying changes automatically to Frontier’s data centre. Because the changes are relatively small, the process has low bandwidth requirements, with latency usually about 10 to 15 milliseconds over the IPSec VPN connection.

“All our data is then held on the Frontier SAN in a Tier 4 data centre and is backed up daily in accordance with the SLA that we have in place,” he said. “System restores can be completed within 30 minutes of the invocation to switch over to the cloud service provider.”

Reassurance about the safety of the company’s data is provided by an SLA that guarantees a maximum recovery time of one hour from invocation and that includes one disaster recovery test annually.

“There are two main benefits for the approach that we have taken,” Kay said. “The first is that we have a service in place that protects our data assets and our server workloads against the risk of failure. Secondly, back-end management is taken out of our hands, which leaves us able to concentrate on other business IT requirements.”

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