Case Study

Lincoln Indicators

When the complexity and cost of Lincoln Indicators’ disaster recovery regime became a burden, the company looked for a better solution.

The Situation

Established in 1984, Lincoln Indicators delivers a range of investment services, with a particular focus on fundamental share analysis of the ASX.

Providing both software and managed investment services, the company employs 40 staff in Melbourne.

Philip Wait, Lincoln Indicators’ Systems Administrator, explains that from SQL to Active Directory, the company relies on a range of systems to support its operations.

“As we move to delivering our products through a software-as- a-service approach, our website is also playing an increasingly vital role,” Wait adds.

To ensure operational continuity in the event of a disaster, Wait says that Lincoln Indicators developed a disaster recovery solution in 2008, replicating their systems to a local Melbourne data centre.

While adequate, the regime became difficult to manage over time. “The solution became too complex,” says Wait. “Each application required a separate system, it was hard to add to and scale, and the recovery processes was too involved.”

With physical co-located hardware and dedicated private network links, costs were also high. Lincoln Indicators decided to pursue a better alternative.

The Solution

Wait says that Lincoln Indicators’ requirements for any new disaster recovery (DR) solution included flexibility, simplicity and lower costs.

“We explored various options, including obtaining our own managed servers or backing-up only files and data,” Wait says. “However, with its ability to adapt and scale, it soon became clear that disaster recovery to the cloud was the best approach.”

Now in place, Lincoln Indicators’ disaster recovery solution uses VMware technology to replicate the company’s systems in Brennan IT’s data centre – allowing Lincoln Indicators to quickly restore their operations should the company need to declare a disaster.

“The new solution replicates whole virtual machines,” says Wait. “This approach brings powerful capabilities, including rapid failover.”

Should a disaster occur, Lincoln Indicators can run its systems directly from Brennan IT’s infrastructure, before choosing whether or not to restore them to a location of choice.

“A feature of the cloud-based approach is the flexibility it provides for recovery,” Wait says.

The Benefits

Wait points to a wide range of benefits. “The first obvious advantage is cost. Compared to our previous approach, I’d estimate that we’ve cut our disaster recovery budget in half,” he says.

The new solution is also much more flexible, with the company able to add new servers quickly as required.

“From decision to implementation, I’d estimate that we can add new components to the DR regime in less than a week,” Wait observes. “We don’t need to worry about managing physical machines, storage or memory. Instead, we simply add new resources as needed to meet demand.”

Wait says that Lincoln Indicators’ aim is to soon have the company’s entire infrastructure included in the DR solution, for which the company has entered a 2-year agreement.

The cloud-based approach is another plus, especially in terms of rapid failover in the event of a disaster.

“Our previous service included an 82 page document detailing how to manage a disaster event, and there was no SLA,” Wait says. “With the DR to the Cloud solution, recovery is much simpler. After a disaster, we can use the DR environment for as long as required before re-establishing normal operations.”

Asked about Lincoln Indicators’ experience with Brennan IT, Wait says that the company has been “nothing but satisfied.”

“Brennan IT have given us what I’d class as enterprise-level service and support,” he says. “From the first meeting, their people have been very good. I’d recommend both them and their disaster recovery service.”

To find out more about Lincoln Indicators click here.

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