Flamant is a Belgian company offering a large, self designed collection of quality interiors through a worldwide network of over 500 selling points.
They have been a respected customer of EASI for more than 3 years. In this blog, I'd like to share with you how a high availability solution was created to allow the business of Flamant to continue, even during disasters.
Flamant has approximately 16 selling points within Europe, all of which are connected to the main system located in the headquarters of Flamant. All transactions in the shops are entered directly into this main system. It goes without saying, that for Flamant's business this system plays a vital role in their business continuity plan. Since the central system was considered as being a single point of failure, the management of Flamant decided to take action, together with EASI.
The first option was to install a second machine in a new server room, making use of hard- or software replication. The second option was not to invest in a second system, but to use EASI’s Cloud2be facilities. Flamant finally chose the last option, because this option is not only financially interesting for Flamant, but also provides better flexibility towards the future.
In this decision, the following factors have been decisive:
- the stability and health of EASI as an IT partner
- the price/quality ratio of EASI’s offering
- the satisfaction of Flamant about EASI’s services
Negotiations started late 2011 to build a complete, full redundant high availability solution, using EASI's Cloud2be facilities. In Cloud2be, we created a new environment similar to the one of Flamant that would act as a disaster recovery environment in case disaster strikes. All of Flamant's data was duplicated towards the backup machine, and is kept up-to-date in real time. After all, Flamant cannot allow itself to lose any data. Designing the network to support this new environment was not simple, it required joined efforts from Flamant, EASI and our ISP's. But in the end, we made the last piece fit into the complex computer-puzzle.
And does it work? Well, sure, it does! We have not yet had any disasters, but we have tested this reliable solution. In fact, it is stated as a must to have at least one test per year. The tests we performed were successful. On top of that, I'd like to mention that switching from the production environment to the backup environment was performed by EASI and Flamant, as a joined effort, switching back to the production environment was performed entirely by the IT staff of Flamant. One could almost say: "If you know how to tie your shoes, you know how to use Cloud2be".
With this solution, Flamant has obtained a number of important goals:
- Disasters will have no impact on their Business
- It allows for IT Business transformation
- IT operations can be optimized
- Focus is shifted towards the business, not on IT