Power company opts for DR in the Cloud
- 19 May, 2011 12:00
Australian Power & Gas CIO, Joseph Gullotta
Eastern states gas and electricity supplier Australian Power & Gas has gone with a Cloud provider for disaster recovery as a service alleviating the need to built out its own infrastructure.
Australian Power & Gas (APG) is using VMware for server virtualisation and NetApp systems for storage and, according to chief information officer, Joseph Gullotta, a DR solution was required to satisfy the company’s rapid growth.
“It was essential we partnered with a company who could provide us with a reliable, stable DR strategy that could increase, on-demand, in line with our business growth,” Gullotta said.
The service provider is Sydney-based ASE IT which operates a business continuity centre in the suburb of Mascot, south of the city.
When Gullotta started at APG 18 months ago he migrated the existing physical server environment to VMware and storage to NetApp SAN with the intention of using the available replication tools to enable remote services.
“We’re not looking at the Cloud for primary systems, but with DR the business doesn’t want to spend a lot of money as it is a large investment to replicate production into DR,” he said. “We wanted to reduce that cost and not have the same burden of production systems.”
Gullotta said using Cloud technology for DR as a service made a lot of sense.
“It’s not an exact mirror, but it’s NetApp-to-Netapp,” he said. “We looked at other solutions and how they can fit in and different SAN technology posed different challenges and brought in different vendors for software replication. That introduced more complexity.”
The vendors that could support NetApp were short listed, which did limit APG’s options, but it was the best technology fit.
“ASE IT has technical expertise with NetApp and the others weren’t automated. With ASR with the click of a button we can have DR up and running.”
Co-locating dedicated storage would require manual expansion, but with disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) the storage is “on tap and we pay per month”.
“We can bring up an instance of our data in a DR ‘bubble’ and bring internal systems up,” Gullotta said. “We also have a corporate WAN project underway and once that is completed will have high-availability.”
APG’s internal IT is mainly comprised of Microsoft software from the data warehouse to the CRM system and Oracle on Linux is used for a number of applications specific to the power industry.
The Oracle Linux servers are also replicated to ASE IT.
Gullotta said CIOs should look at DRaaS as it “bundles in” all the Cloud services of IaaS, SaaS and PaaS.
“DRaaS really fits in really well. I have worked at other companies where DR has posed a lot of cost to the business,” he said. “DRaaS is a way to easily and quickly reduce the cost and burden of expansion and the constant consideration to the DR environment.
“DRaaS reduces the need to go back to the business every time for more money for DR. The major cost and burden to the business is in the initial setup and the rest of the time it is just a process of managing the relationship with the vendor providing the DRaaS service. There is minimal cost and burden to the business going forward.”
ASE managing director, Andrew Sjoquist, said the disaster recovery as a service, or DRaaS, offering is delivered from the company’s Cloud.
“[DRaaS is] effectively replicating NetApp storage to ASE’s StorCloud constantly and also replicating [the] VMware server environment to ASE’s CPUCloud using VMware SRM,” Sjoquist said.
Another Sydney-based company, VMtech, helped deploy the APGas internal NetApp and VMWare infrastructure.
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