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Brookfield Asset Management Finds the Solution to Its Disaster Recovery Problem

  • June 01 2007, 1:00am EDT

REVIEWER: Stephane Deschenes, director of Information Systems for Brookfield Asset Management.

BACKGROUND: Brookfield Asset Management is a global asset manager focused on property, power and other infrastructure assets, with more than $70 billion of assets under management. We own and manage one of the largest portfolios of premier office properties and hydroelectric power generation facilities as well as transmission and timberland operations, in North and South America and Europe.

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Exchange, SQL, File, SharePoint and BES servers.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Originally, our server environment relied entirely on local high availability with clustering, but we didn't have an off-site data protection solution other than tape backup. With more than 450 users in 11 offices, there was an obvious need for an enhanced data protection plan and improved recovery process. As such, we devised a project scope with requirements that included real-time data protection, 24x7 availability, a simple data recovery process and strict recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) objectives.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Double-Take was implemented as an enhanced data protection plan and an improved recovery process to protect all of our Exchange, SQL, File, SharePoint and BES servers. It continuously captures and replicates changes to data files at the byte level as they occur. Furthermore, it provides failover and recovery capabilities that enable businesses to quickly resume operations after a disaster or system outage - without the time and complexities of restoring from tape.

STRENGTHS: Implementing Double-Take has allowed us to streamline our disaster recovery and business continuity practices. During testing, the product dramatically reduced the effort involved in recovering data and, as such, gave our team confidence that it will minimize downtime and application interruption if a real disaster should occur.

WEAKNESSES: A Double-Take implementation takes careful planning and execution. When implementing protection on Exchange and SQL, both the source and the target host applications must be identical in configuration. With the assistance of an on-site Double-Take support engineer, we were able to successfully build those target servers. This constraint, however, provides assurance that our disaster recovery capabilities remain relevant.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We entered the research phase of our project with an open mind and quickly found Double-Take as the recommended solution everywhere we looked. We came across a number of positive news articles about Double-Take on the Internet, and the initial positive sentiments were later validated when we spoke with the company's technology solution partners, PlateSpin and VMware. The most significant selling point was that, in the event of a disaster, Double-Take will allow Brookfield to recover data and applications within minutes, if not seconds. After learning more about the features and functionality of Double-Take and comparing it to other products, Double-Take was the clear, easy choice for our complex server environment.

DELIVERABLES: The pre-existing recovery procedures for our systems were tedious, complex and time-consuming. Double-Take met our strict RTO and RPO objectives at a very reasonable cost.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Double-Take Software has a very helpful support staff that is readily available on a 24x7x365 basis via the company's Web site or a toll-free telephone number. On subsequent disaster recovery tests, we were able to quickly gain access to knowledgeable support staff that assisted us in the reconstitution and failback tasks.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is straightforward and comprehensive. When calling support, they always reference the documentation for a resolution. To date, there have not been any execution or implementation tasks that deviate from the text within the support documentation.

Double-Take Software   
257 Turnpike Road
Southborough, MA 01772
(508) 229-8483

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