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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Dragna explains: "We looked for replication that matched our existing infrastructure of tape and off-site storage, rather than implement an entirely new infrastructure. That led us to look at Neverfail, as it provided value for what we needed to accomplish. The Neverfail product is clever, which can do complex things, but is ostensibly simple to put together."

Rollover in seven minutes

"We chose Neverfail, aside from all the technical aspects of it, because it enables us to switch to servers in Sweden without interrupting the business at any point. Every Thursday, we switch over to Neverfail to make sure they are functioning properly to regularly test. It's a completely seamless roll over. The business doesn't know it is happening," Eskilsson elucidates. "That sold us on it."

The US operation can roll over its entire server data to its Sweden division in seven minutes.

Stena Bulk backs up its data every day, but also needs to keep almost a terabyte of data live every day. "Our goal is to maintain a year of active data in the fail over process. Just under a terabyte is live data, including emails, files and folders, which is needed to keep the business running," says Eskilsson.
While Stena Bulk has not felt the impact of a disaster, the company is already reaping the benefits of the Neverfail system. Persson says the products have "already provided a return on our investment by helping us keep our business up and running through any situation."

"We assumed disaster recovery and business continuity system would be used in big national disasters. But we had a situation recently where the city cut power in our Houston building, so we simply rolled servers to our fail over servers in Sweden, and the business continued as normal. We averted a power outage, and it allowed us to keep business running as if it was a disaster. We can also roll our systems over to do maintenance on the existing servers, or test functionality," details Dragna.

The company has used the product to keep operations going during a two-day system maintenance and power shut-down operation in the company's Houston office. It transferred its servers over to its Gothenburg offices in order to keep systems running until power was restored, with no disruption to the business.

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