When your high tech business is based in a tornado-prone area, you don’t run away from the problem — you innovate your way to a solution. As one of the largest and busiest environmental testing labs in the country, ESC Lab Sciences needed a disaster recovery plan that would minimize the impact of any human error and prepare the organization for the very real possibility of a natural disaster in their home base of Mount Juliet, Tennessee, an area vulnerable to tornadoes. The company needed a reliable partner to help them prepare for just about anything — and that’s where VMware came in.
Throughout its 10-acre campus, ESC Lab Sciences uses advanced instrumentation to carry out extremely sophisticated testing. At the heart of it all is its data center, home not just to its networking infrastructure, but also to the laboratory information management system (LIMS) that centralizes processing of all the lab’s work plus the Citrix technology it uses for remote access and more. If the data center were to go down, it would mean tens of thousands of dollars in potential losses per hour — a catastrophe the organization wanted to avoid.
With a long record of innovation going all the way back to 1970, ESC Lab Sciences had a history of being at the forefront of tech trends — they went paperless in the ’90s before most organizations even knew it was possible — and the leadership team knew their solution to the organization’s data center concerns would likely go against conventional wisdom.
“As we built up our data center, we wanted to protect that investment by replicating it and coming up with a backup plan,” says Tom White, ESC Enterprise Infrastructure Director. “We’re in a tornado-prone area, so there’s always the threat of natural disaster. We had been dealing with that threat by replicating to another smaller data center; but with the advent of the cloud, we realized that we could do so more cost-effectively — and much less labor-intensively — by moving the task off-premises.”
Having virtualized the lab’s infrastructure with VMware vSphere software over the past decade, and having deployed a small private cloud a year before using VMware vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud, vCloud Air Disaster Recovery was a natural choice to support the lab’s disaster recovery strategy.
Using vCloud Air Disaster Recover allowed ESC Lab Sciences to:
- Minimize risk of data center downtime due to natural disasters.
- Free up IT staff to focus on strategic initiatives rather than data center maintenance.
- Lower operating expenses while reducing carbon footprint.
For White, the greatest benefit of moving to cloud-based disaster recovery is the peace of mind in knowing that ESC Lab Sciences has a trusted partner responsible for managing and maintaining the physical infrastructure of its disaster recovery environment. “With vCloud Air Disaster Recovery, I know that the resources we need will be available 24 hours a day, regardless of what’s going on in the rest of the world and we can focus on the initiatives that further our business.”
By replicating its data center in the cloud with vCloud Air Disaster Recovery, ESC Lab Sciences now has a strong disaster recovery plan in place that will enable it to maintain its competitive advantage no matter what the winds of change bring.
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