DR in the cloud? Totally possible!

DR in the cloud? Totally possible!

We have all heard the argument that disaster recovery (DR) in the cloud is just an expense that no one can afford. Well, we are about to change that perception, and it starts with the meeting of a client– and how a simple discussion transformed a company’s entire DR vision and approach.


Meet the client: Alviva Technology Holdings, one of Africa’s largest distributors of ICT solutions. We ask Morné van Heerden, Group CIO, Alviva Holdings, some quick-fire questions on why he partnered with Routed (a VMware Cloud Verified Partner) and what his new environment looks like.


Q: Why does a DR environment in Routed’s cloud make sense to you?


I wasn’t required to invest in equipment, hardware, or software. It was a scalable, customisable, immediately accessible disaster recovery service and delivered in a true consumption manner – which aptly fits our IT spend model. We quickly completed the first successful disaster recovery tests in the company’s history which was quicker than any other alternative solution we had looked at.


Q: Besides the age-old technology issues around DR, what was one reason you elected to create a multi-site DR environment?


The unrest in South Africa, where rogue elements were targeting critical infrastructure, was a real eye-opener in 2021. If those elements had succeeded in getting to one of our data centres, we would have been dead in the water. Having redundancy for my servers and backups would have meant nothing.


Q: You say the migration was seamless. What does this mean?

We are a full VMware house. I think this is noteworthy as the product itself is important because it must fit in with our infrastructure. If we put Routed and VMware aside, we have only been able to achieve what we have because the product is a phenomenal strategic fit with all the other technologies. Everything we worked on from a security, governance, and infrastructure backup perspective could only be achieved because of the seamless connection with our VMware environment.


Talking partnerships…

The journey started when Morné and our MD, Andrew Cruise, sat down to discuss the potential of hosting Alviva’s DR in the cloud.


Here’s what Andrew had to say about VMware, partnerships, and the success of Alviva:

Q: What do you believe sets you apart from other cloud providers?


We work in partnership with our customers. This is not a customer-supplier relationship, and we don’t push products where we say sign here, and you’ll get a 10% discount. Routed are truly advocates for what fixes problems for our customers and what surfaces value within their business. Our role is to listen and provide options that work for each client.


Q: We believe Alviva could have chosen an internal cloud to use. Why did you become the difference?


Yes, we replaced one of the technology companies providing a similar service, which speaks to Routed’s level of specialist technical expertise. Alviva elected a specialist, third-party provider with specific expertise for only one product at the beginning – which then expanded to a more encompassing VMware Cloud.”


Q: Summarise your partnership and its evolution?

We have a truly strategic partnership with Alviva. Even though the initial ask was to provide DR for critical virtual machines, as Morné became more aware of what’s possible with the VMware Cloud, it opened new doors. Solutions appeared to problems that were not expected or anticipated. As a result, the capabilities and outcomes of Alviva’s environment expanded.


In summary

While perceptions aren’t always reality, they are the reality to those who hold them. We asked the head of VMware’s cloud business in Sub-Saharan Africa to wrap up what he thinks the importance is of solutions such as the one provided by Routed and why cloud providers are more than sellers of VMs.


And according to Sumeeth Singh, Cloud Provider Business Head, VMware Sub-Saharan Africa: “Within the ecosystem, there’s a common misconception that VMware Cloud providers just host virtual machines. Instead, partners like Routed offer the full stack, akin to a public cloud hyperscale provider, in terms of visibility and everything moving up the stack from the VM to the rest of the business. In short, cloud providers have been put into a hosted cloud bucket or virtual machine hosting place, where in fact they offer a whole lot more than just hosting a virtual machine.”


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