REVIEWER: Karen Bryant, IT operations and network manager for Shorenstein Company.

BACKGROUND: Shorenstein Company is one of the country's oldest and most respected real estate organizations, nationally active in the ownership and operation of high-quality office properties. The company is privately owned and headquartered in San Francisco. Shorenstein Company provides leasing, management and construction services to its properties through its wholly owned property services affiliate, Shorenstein Realty Services. The close coordination between the investment, asset management and operating professionals within Shorenstein is the key to Shorenstein's ability to deliver exceptional services. With extensive internal resources and a commitment to excellence, Shorenstein has the ability to address operating issues and to capitalize on investment opportunities.

PLATFORM: Windows Server 2000 and 2003.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Top executives at Shorenstein Company recognized the need for disaster recovery to protect mission-critical data and applications as well as the need to design a configuration that accommodated its bandwidth issues. While devising a plan, the company took into account several California and federal laws, and took appropriate steps to make sure proper regulations were met. When selecting a solution, Shorenstein's IT staff considered many variables, such as the wide range of applications and software that we were looking to back up, including SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, internal databases and even some homegrown applications. In addition, Shorenstein needed to consider other complexities such as our Windows 2000 Cluster installation and our use of virtualization software from VMWare to partition servers into separate virtual machines running different operating systems. Although Shorenstein has an internal IT staff of 11 people, it was important that each person be able to remain focused on his or her dedicated projects while deploying Double-Take. To address this concern and, at the same time, ensure proper deployment by leveraging technical knowledge from industry experts, Shorenstein turned to the Double-Take Software Professional Services organization.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The final solution provided the ability to replicate data from 15 remote servers at corporate headquarters across the country to one server at a regional office. In the event of a disaster, we will be utilizing our secondary headquarters on the East Coast. Double-Take gives us peace of mind. Shorenstein was able to reduce deployment costs by using existing servers and replicating data from many servers onto one single server. In addition, because Double-Take is able to operate in conjunction with VMWare, it further eased hardware requirements. Double-Take provided Shorenstein with much more control of our data and the overall environment - unlike other vendors that may require customers to use off-site storage facilities. In the end, Double-Take Software provided the best solution for the Shorenstein environment and budget.

STRENGTHS: The product can replicate data in near real time. Double-Take Software proved itself to be a true solution provider, not just a software company, by its ability to help us implement the product with a professional services installation staff member.

WEAKNESS: The complexity it takes to install and operate is a weakness of Double-Take.

SELECTION CRITERIA: After speaking with many vendors, Shorenstein made the decision to install Double-Take. Double-Take Software service professionals have expert knowledge in key areas related to high availability, data replication, business continuity planning and solutions deployment, acquired through hundreds of engagements in a wide range of environments. The low startup costs, which would have been much higher with other vendors, were another benefit.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Double-Take Software provided great presales support and exceptional postsale implementation in the professional services group. The best part of working with Double-Take Software was the sales and engineering staff. They really took the time to tailor the product to our environment.

DOCUMENTATION: The document is understandable, but we would probably need an on-site Double-Take person to assist us in the event of a disaster.

Double-Take Software
257 Turnpike Road
Southborough, MA 01772
(508) 229-8810

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