Based on their market leading position and their rapid international growth, the need to be able to run the business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year is of utmost importance now. Based on this, the Company's executive team completed a risk assessment and felt that they were exposed to potential business continuity/disaster recovery risks and needed to invest in a solution that would meet their needs.
Previously, Bettcher's internal IT systems had redundancy via their multi-host VMWare environment, but this resided within the corporate datacenter. This created a single point of failure that could cause a complete outage due to weather or any other internet issues at their office. Additionally, since each of their remote locations utilized these same core HQ-based IT resources, an outage could impact the entire organization.
To remedy this issue, Bettcher put out an RFP to determine solutions for this identified risk, and soon received responses from several industry-leading off-site DR providers. As with any organization, cost of the solution was a critical issue. Given the organization's global IT requirements, the solution also needed to provide near instantaneous failover with an absolute near-zero Recovery Point Objective (ie, data is in an identical state both at the on-site IT infrastructure and off-site DR location).
Finally, since Bettcher Industries is a global/multi-national organization, each of the remote US-based offices and international offices had to be able to easily access the failed over IT infrastructure, and be able to fail over their own IT infrastructure when they faced an IT outage.
Bettcher Industries engaged Stratus Innovations Group to design and implement a Disaster Recovery solution based on Microsoft Azure Site Recovery. As part of our commitment, we provided a quick pilot to help Bettcher get more comfortable with Azure Site Recovery and to validate the solution via the Azure Site Recovery "Test Failover" functionality.
We also provided connectivity from Bettcher's three remote locations (including their Switzerland location) to their Azure environment in order for each site to fail over their VMWare-based Virtual Machines as well. This connectivity was accomplished via provisioning a Windows Server Routing and Remote Access (RRAS)-based firewall (removed extra space between “based” and “firewall”) into a Microsoft Azure Dynamic Routing multi-site Virtual Network.
After a short implementation project, Bettcher was able to successfully fail
over individual Virtual Machines as well as their entire Syteline ERP
environment, and then fail back to the on-premises based VMWare environment.
The primary advantage that Bettcher was able to benefit from was the incredibly low financial cost of this solution as compared to other Disaster Recovery solutions, which require a dedicated mirrored physical or virtual environment to
be available in order to fail over a production environment. As part of the initial evaluation and RFP process, Bettcher found that the Microsoft Azure Site Recovery solution was approximately
10 to 15 times less expensive than proposed solutions by Verizon and Sungard.
Additionally, the Dynamic Routing Virtual Network provided Bettcher an additional benefit by
enabling client-based VPN connectivity to their Azure environment, which can be used at times of complete HQ or office outage. As long as their employees can go somewhere with internet access (such as home or a library), they can continue to process business and service their customer base.
Finally, Bettcher has the ability to run monthly tests to ensure that they can successfully fail over their environment in the event of a system outage, and that the failed over data is an exact replica of their production environment prior to the outage.