Stena Bulk deploys disaster recovery for smooth sailing

As an international organisations that depends on up-to-the-minute business data through email and other applications, shipping company Stena Bulk has implemented a disaster recovery solution to avoid the devastating expense and risk of downtime.

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Scoping the project

Stena Bulk's IT partner, Xirtix Consutling, worked with the shipping company to assess and chose a disaster recovery plan.

"To scope the project, we looked at individual business processes and assessed the specific amount of time that the business could keep running without that service. We narrowed the list to a possible seven to ten core business applications, and then we asked the business how long it could function without that application. We spoke to people from each of the business disciplines – communication, accounting, marketing, operations – and we looked at each of their applications. We then took those core business processes that could never be down, and implemented a disaster recovery solution for those," says Nick Dragna, lead consultant at Xirtix.

At Stena Bulk, IT is run as a service department for the business. "Decisions are made in the business, and then IT is tasked with accomplishing them. We do not have the departmental scope to say: 'This is how we are going to work'. So there is always a lot of communications from the business to the IT department," says IT director Persson.

The IT department assessed various ways to manage its data centres, including a costly storage area network that would have involved replicating the entire infrastructure of each company.

At the end of the day, the business decided to augment its existing tape and off-site storage solution, which was needed for compliance reasons, with Neverfail for Microsoft Exchange and Neverfail for Microsoft SQL Server.

Neverfail for Microsoft Exchange protects and maintains e-mail communications, while Neverfail for Microsoft SQL Server protects the company's ship management system, Shipnet.

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