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Storage System Costs and Complexity Push Financial Institution to Innovate in Business Continuity

Most enterprise companies share one thing in common: they are most comfortable doing business with other enterprise companies. Buying from other enterprise companies gives the purchasing company some level of confidence that, after they make the acquisition, the other company will be around to provide support for the product. It is only when the costs of purchasing technology from another enterprise company are so outrageous, and do not come with similar assurances of success, that sometimes one has to innovate.

That was the reaction of one large financial institution’s senior business continuity architect. After requesting and reviewing a business continuity proposal from his current storage system provider, he rejected it and began to look for a solution that was not only easier to implement, but was more cost-effective and had higher assurances of success without binding the business further to its current storage vendor. This search brought him into contact with InMage Systems.

The architect was introduced to InMage Systems’ Scout product suite only after he turned to HP’s VAR program. He described his dilemma to his HP representatives who recognized that they did not have the technology to solve his problem but that one of their business partners, InMage Systems, might be able to help him. He was not familiar with InMage but was open to learning more and requested a demonstration of its software.

He attended the partner VAR’s trade show where InMage was exhibiting their solution and took a look at what they had to offer. After InMage had provided him with a demonstration of its software and how it could support heterogeneous server and storage environments and provide near real-time local and remote recoveries, he was convinced Scout merited further investigation.

He returned home and began the job of selling InMage internally. At the time, he was uncertain he could count on InMage for support, was unsure InMage would be around for the long haul and was not even positive it would work in his environment. Conversely InMage appeared to be the only business continuity solution that would meet his financial institution’s requirements.

With a little perseverance, he succeeded in gaining internal support from his company and initiated a pilot with InMage. He created pilot production and DR data centers using Scout. As part of the test, he used it to replicate data from internally and externally attached storage from different vendors at the production and DR sites to prove that it didn’t matter what storage provider the company choose for its DR or Production needs. What surprised him the most was that InMage spent a nominal amount of time configuring the software and yet it worked seamlessly with the financial institution’s existing hardware infrastructure. What impressed him the most was what had initially concerned him the most: InMage’s’ level of support. Support engineers would regularly pay him visits even when there was nothing wrong just to see how the project was going and to make sure everything was appropriately configured and tuned.

Finally the point of final evaluation came when it was time to make a decision on whether or not the InMage solution would meet the businesses’ needs. The litmus test was to verify that Scout would replicate the last transaction on several key application servers in a production environment just before an outage occurred. With management watching and an independent third party validating the results, the architect pinpointed the transaction, and initiated a shut down at the production site and then checked to see if the transaction replicated to the pilot DR site. Not only did it replicate the last transaction, the financial institution was able to successfully restart the application with Scout’s service startup functionality as well as other capabilities and the third party validated the results.

Predictably the company selected InMage Systems’ Scout solution for its business continuity needs. But more notable is that even conservative companies such as financial institutions are recognizing that traditional methods of business continuity are no longer the best, easiest or most cost-effective option for protecting their distributed enterprises with minimal IT staff. Instead companies are now more willing to examine new robust yet flexible and innovative technologies like InMage Systems Scout because they solve the real challenges that they have around business continuity at a fraction of the cost and with hardware that they often already have in place.

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