When the Queensland floods struck in January 2011, however, the company found itself in deep water, with its IT platform – including some of its disaster recovery equipment – severely affected.
Forced to rescue its systems by boat, Super A-Mart needed to transition to a new infrastructure as quickly as possible – one that would meet the company’s immediate needs while also supporting its future growth.
“With all our business critical data resting on the one server, our first priority was to find immediate rack space and wide area communications so we could set to task the rebuild and recovery process,” explains Super A-Mart CIO Matt Keays. “But we also saw an opportunity to transition to the cloud.”
Super-A-Mart selected Brennan IT’s private cloud infrastructure solution – or Infrastructure-as-a-Service – to meet the company’s immediate need for a new IT platform, as well as to help implement an improved disaster recovery solution.
Backed by fully redundant Brennan IT data centres in Brisbane and Sydney, the new infrastructure platform replaced Super A-Mart’s ageing and flood-damaged infrastructure with a business-wide ‘service on tap’ solution.
Super A-Mart now hosts over 40 servers on Brennan IT’s private cloud platform, delivering the lion’s share of the company’s business critical systems, including mail, file, print, business application and SQL services – all backed by a service level agreements that demand 99.9 per cent up-time.
In the wake of the flood event, Brennan IT was able to get Super A-Mart’s core IT systems up and running within 24-48 hours. Keays says that under “fairly unique” circumstances, his aim was to transition to the new cloud infrastructure as aggressively as possible. With the assistance of Brennan IT’s engineers, he says the process went “very well and encountered very few bumps.”
Brennan IT’s disaster recovery services now mean that Super A-Mart is equipped to recover from unforeseen events “in hours, not weeks.”
Matt Keays says that the private cloud model now allows Super A-Mart to tap into external infrastructure to scale up business critical systems as and when required, delivering growth and performance without the need for large-scale internal projects.
The cloud solution provides Super A-Mart with the best of both worlds, offering the ability to retain control over many of the business’s critical systems while also having the flexibility to tap into the external infrastructure to scale up these systems on demand.
The new IT platform also delivers Super A-Mart with a cost effective and fully redundant back up solution that can be activated quickly, significantly reducing ‘time to recover’.
“The stakes are much higher now with more stores in our network. Our new private cloud infrastructure supports a more robust disaster recovery response. Our time to recover will be much shorter, reducing the financial and operational impact on the business,” he says.
Keays also believes that the transition to private cloud is allowing more IT projects to run parallel, with project work becoming more applications centric.
With an expanding retail footprint and new Super A-Mart outlets being opened across the country, Keays says this ability to quickly increase infrastructure capacity is vital part of the company’s ability to grow.
To find out more about Super A-Mart click here.