Maxava provides us with a robust, reliable, scalable and cost-effective solution to cover existing business today and our plans moving forward. It’s a good partnership for success.
The Business Need
Bendon Limited is a leading international lingerie designer and marketer, with a successful history dating back to the 1940’s. Established in New Zealand, the company name derived from the idea that lingerie could quite literally ‘bend on’ (compared to the heavy wire, steel and bone garments that existed at the time). Bendon has combined innovation with style to secure a major presence in not only the New Zealand and Australian markets, but throughout the UK, US and Gulf States as well.
Bendon’s main operations base for design and manufacture is Auckland, New Zealand. Although the company’s operations were going ahead in leaps and bounds, the technology being used to protect its critical business data was rapidly becoming obsolete. Despite operating across a range of time zones, and processing huge amounts of data, Bendon used a tape backup at the head office site in New Zealand. It therefore became rapidly apparent that a more reliable and sophisticated solution was required if Bendon’s HA & DR infrastructure was going to keep pace with its growth.
Mark Elley, a technology expert who has implemented such solutions in similar sized companies, was asked to investigate and provide a right solution for Bendon. Mark, along with CFO Bruce McEwen, planned and implemented the purchase of a second IBM i enterprise server to separate the production environment – Oracle’s J.D Edwards OneWorld enterprise application software – from the non-production environment for the disaster recovery purposes, and also to ensure the machines were partitioned and utilised to maximum efficiency. Bruce’s major concern was one of vulnerability.
Historically, what we had was one server which by definition provided a single point of failure. As such, it wasn’t so much our current replication DR-type approach that required tuning; it was the fact that we didn’t have one that could be counted on.
It was within this context that Maxava provided a key solution – facilitating the resiliency that Bendon needed to cost-effectively and sustainably mitigate the very real business risk that the company was facing in terms of costly downtime and data loss. “Prior to implementing Maxava HA Enterprise we had to take the production system down daily to take a backup of specific data because we had to capture it cold,” Mark explains. “This translated to a 45-minute outage which was manageable to a point. However, once we started rolling out internationally, a 24×7 availability environment was required which clearly could not be done using our existing tape backup procedures,” he says. Bendon looked at a number of HA and DR software replication options all of which were significantly more expensive than the Maxava solution. The decision wasn’t only driven by price, however. “I really wanted a product that would do what the manufacturers said it would do,” Mark smiles. And to that end, Maxava HA Enterprise has delivered in a number of key areas. “Initially our disaster recovery focus was more important than high availability so that was the first criteria the solution had to meet. We then wanted to be sure that the solution could be operated efficiently and sustainably. Finally, we wanted peace-of-mind that our data was available on a 24×7 basis. Maxava HA Enterprise made the grade easily on all counts.”
And while HA & DR were key business drivers, the company also wanted to make sure they used the processing capacity of its existing servers most efficiently. The configuration was crucial. Bruce explains; “With some of our environments, it’s not purely DR versus Production. We’ve also got development and test environments. Maxava HA Enterprise enables us to utilise the horsepower that exists in the two machines in the most efficient way, it allows us to literally move the production data from one environment to the other seamlessly. Maxava has delivered a truly great DR solution because at any point we can turn one server off and with a very limited amount of work have the other environment fully operational and servicing all our client requirements – from either server location.”
“Maxava HA Enterprise’s speed is one of its most appealing attributes,” says Mark. “The system is now completely in full-time replication mode,” he says, apart from a brief stoppage each night. “While our production system continues to run, the replication gets stopped at 11pm, the journals keep backing up, we take our daily tape backup from our backup system and we turn the journaling back on. Basically it’s very quickly recovered and catches up almost instantly.” While Maxava has delivered on all fronts to Bendon, the fact that the solution is scalable provides the roadmap they need to ensure that it can keep pace with the company’s rapid international growth. “That was an easy box to tick with Maxava HA,” says McEwen. “It provides us with a robust, reliable, scalable and cost-effective solution to cover existing business today and our plans moving forward. It’s a good partnership for success.”
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