ACS, a division of Altron that provides secure data hosting and networking for not only the Altron Group of companies but also external customers across South Africa, has strengthened its partnership with VMware Cloud Provider partner Routed to enhance its current disaster recovery (DR) offering with a more scalable and efficient cloud-based solution.
“We provide the secure hosting of transactional data as well as applications which contain a significant amount of private and critical information. Given the sensitivity of this data, it must always be available. Our previous solution required significant granular manual intervention when we needed to switch customers over to DR. It was therefore essential to implement a more cost-effective solution that could cope with the massive amount of data that needed to be transported across to the DR data centre,” says Mira Andric, ACS Operations and Delivery Manager.
Andrew Cruise, MD of Routed Hosting who is the first VMware Cloud Verified Partner (VCPP) in Africa, says the previous ACS DR solution was not only difficult to manage, but it was manual-driven for recovery and tied to their storage resulting in an inflexible environment.
“Because ACS runs VMware inside their data centre and they themselves are a VCPP, it made sense to deliver a solution that combines our respective expertise in the VMware ecosystem. They are quite forward-thinking to approach another service provider partner to deliver a best-of-breed offering rather than try do everything themselves,” he says.
“We were looking for a VCPP partner that could integrate well with what we already had in place. It was not a case of reinventing the wheel but rather implement something that could take the business to the next level.”
ACS implemented VCloud availability and shipped over 30TB of data within two weeks. The entire project took three months to complete with ACS now running a full DR-as-a-service (DRaaS) offering incorporating the reliability, availability, and security needed.
“ACS is providing customers with a self-service portal where they can ensure that the DR systems are available and up and running at a moment’s notice. Our engagement with Routed has been a partnership, and they have been actively involved in setting the systems up with us and our IT teams,” she says.
According to Andric, this has enabled ACS to complete the project on time and within budget.
“The cost savings have already started coming through. What is most important for us is that Routed has demonstrated that the VCloud offering is running the way it should at a price that is affordable to our customers. Furthermore, the IT teams within our customer environment understand the solution and it is incredibly user-friendly,” says Andric.
Running DRaaS is traditionally quite complex as those are the systems that companies do not require daily.
“However, Routed guided us on this complex path and empowered us to deliver a self-service platform to our customers. Now, within five clicks, the DR system is up and running. The VMware system is just a pleasure to run when you need it most. It has provided us and our customers with a good night’s sleep because they know that when they need it, DR will be done as effectively and securely as possible,” she says.
According to Cruise, ACS can deliver this solution to not only Altron Group companies but also external customers.
“ACS can provide a suite of services that speak to the security and compliance requirements of the digital age. And all this is delivered with the availability and reliability of a VMware cloud solution,” he concludes.