Previously in SWEP’s main data centre only the most critical servers were protected by a disaster recovery solution. In the event of an outage the aim was to restore operations within four hours, but preferably quicker than that. However when these procedures were tested it was discovered that the existing DR set-up did not meet the company’s availability standards. One of the identified weak spots was the reliance on a secondary data centre in the United States, while SWEP’s main data centre was located in Sweden.
SWEP therefore went searching for an alternative disaster recovery solution and approached Proact with its challenges. Proact presented a proposal built around Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), with additions and modifications to help meet SWEP’s specific requirements. To find the right solution both Proact and SWEP collaborated to complete a detailed analysis. “During the procurement phase we gained a lot of trust in Proact. The team demonstrated the experience we were looking for and came across as true professionals in this field,” says Henrik Berglund.
To identify the right disaster recovery solution for SWEP, Proact applied its proven methodology which included several workshops. During these sessions structured walkthroughs were held to systematically examine each part of the organisation and its respective requirements on IT application and service delivery. These were then mapped to the systems environment, including servers, networking and applications.
The outcome of the workshops helped define the foundation for a solution jointly designed by SWEP and Proact, which meets SWEP’s business requirements for IT availability. The solution also boosts cost efficiency by distinguishing between different needs and requirements. Implementing DR protection which covers the entire environment and all applications was not considered viable due to costs.
The examination was not limited to SWEP’s data centre environment. It covered the entire corporate IT infrastructure with special consideration given to networking, including routers and WAN connections between company sites. These are also potential points of failure with a corresponding need for redundancy.
Another significant prerequisite for the disaster recovery solution is that SWEP employs WAN optimisation technology from Silver Peak. The chosen solution resolves this by adding Proact as a node in the enterprise network, which enables emergency service delivery from a secondary data centre.
With Disaster Recovery as a Service from Proact, SWEP is benefitting from a service built with state-of-the-art technology which also offers great flexibility. Proact provides regular backup of SWEP’s servers, delivered ‘as a service’. This service can also be used to manually restore server operations that are not covered by the main DR solution, providing coverage in a worst case scenario where an outage lasts for an extended time period. In that event, a large and sustained secondary data centre capacity can be provided through Proact Hybrid Cloud (PHC).
As a customer, SWEP maintains full control over version management and backup retention. The company can also use its PHC instance for test purposes and as a systems development resource.
The solution is delivered by Proact through a collaborative effort by teams in Sweden, Germany and the UK. The contract specifies that DR procedures are tested twice each year to verify the agreed service level, including stated recovery windows, and that it meets the security and compliance requirements which SWEP is subject to.
SWEP’s DR solution involves more than technology. An essential outcome of the initial workshops was a so called ‘runbook’ for disaster recovery. This details the step-by-step workflow in the case of an outage with clear lines of responsibility.
The entire solution is delivered ‘as a service’ and is supported by a monthly cost model. This allows for great flexibility without need the for significant capital investment. SWEP can always scale up or down server and storage capacity according actual needs, basically only paying for what is used.
SWEP is a world-leading manufacturer of brazed plate heat exchangers (BPHE) for HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) and industrial applications. SWEP technology is designed to make efficient use of energy, material and space. SWEP was founded in Sweden in 1983 and has evolved into an international enterprise with more than 1,000 employees, manufacturing facilities in five countries and customers in more then 90 countries. The corporate headquarters are located in Landskrona, Sweden.
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