San Mateo Insurance Carrier counts StoneFly as valuable asset for VM Backup and Disaster Recovery

SAN Mateo based Insurance Company providing services to policy holders in more than 39 states in America is relying on StoneFly Z series DR Backup appliance to store valuable server and workstation backups.

The Business Challenge

Technically speaking about the IT environment, the insurance provider has VMware vSphere to handle all its insurance and risk management applications. A fully virtualized environment was the foundation of the company’s DR strategy, but the company’s IT team faced challenges with virtual machine (VM) backup. Not only was VM backup slow, it didn’t complete consistently. And unreliable backups often lead to data loss.

The insurance company has policy holders in each and every corner of United States and so has to deal with vast amounts of data. Under these circumstances, data loss can cripple the financial service provider partially or completely forever.

VM backup also put stress on production Virtual Machines, which affected their performance. Moreover, these backups required too much storage. VM recovery was also a challenge because it was time-consuming as backups older than four weeks had to be retrieved from tape, which was located offsite.

So, the company was looking to reduce the recovery time from hours to minutes by keeping more backups onsite for fast, local recovery. At the same time the company also wanted to increase the number of recovery points by going for offsite storage.

The insurance provider investigated various VM backup solutions but could find only one that met its criteria: fast, reliable backup, decreased storage requirements, improved recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTOs and RPOs) and an architecture that had been designed for virtualization.

The StoneFly solution

StoneFly Z-Series of DR Backup Appliances is a purpose-built backup system in one easy to manage appliance. It helps in managing all backup operations for data center or office with a single central management console.

StoneFly DR16Z and DR24Z appliance nodes can be scaled up to 1 Petabyte of backup storage capacity for your business. Every node can accommodate any combination of SATA, SAS and SSD storage tiers as required, achieving the performance needed for your requirements.

Z-Series appliances are available in integrated or modular configurations. An optional embedded hypervisor allows backed up VMs to be spun up directly on the Z-Series appliance.

The backup engine automatically creates backup images of physical servers based on flexible user-defined policy. These images can be restored (bare metal recovery) to the same hardware, to dissimilar hardware to build a new server, or can be mounted as a drive to retrieve an earlier copy of a specific file, folder, etc.

StoneFly Z series of appliances enables every backup to be automatically be converted into a virtual machine. These Virtual Machines can then be quickly spun up and hosted on the Z-Series appliance (hypervisor upgrade required). This feature is quite useful for business continuity for your production environment if a physical server or workstation goes down and needs to be repaired. Replica Virtual Machines can also be used for any testing the user might choose including non-invasive compliance testing.

The backup engine also includes snapshot, one-pane management, SSL-encryption, data deduplication at the source and target, compression, and much more.

For offsite backup and disaster recovery, StoneFly Z series appliances can be integrated with StoneFly Cloud Drive on Microsoft Azure. Remote replication to a StoneFly Cloud Drive is an affordable way to quickly add one or more disaster recovery sites for your important data. The application combines easy to use interface with a powerful functionality making a disaster recovery plan simple, reliable and affordable.

Manual backups to tape can be avoided by opting to this feature. If an outage or disaster occurs on-premises, the StoneFly Cloud Drive can be quickly mounted as a remote iSCSI drive to easily access all of your data that has been asynchronously replicated to Azure. Remote replication to a StoneFly Cloud Drive ensures minimum downtime and maximum data availability should the unthinkable occur.

The Result

Fast, consistently successful backup protects data

Before the deployment of StoneFly Z series Backup and DR appliance at the Insurance providers’ premises, VM backup was slow and unreliable. With StoneFly solution, backup is 87% faster (4.5 hours instead of 24 hours), and backup is reliable. StoneFly automatically emails a backup update to the IT team each day.

Recovery Time decreased from 36 hours to 10 minutes

StoneFly Z series backup appliances backed up by StoneFly CDR365 provides fast, dependable recovery of virtualized applications and data. The solution allows restoration of entire VMs, operating system files and individual application items in minutes.

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