Funtastic

Funtastic

For such a large business, an unexpected IT outage for any length of time would cause the business serious damage, both operationally and financially from lost orders through to loss of data in their ERP system.

The summary

Industry:

Retail

Country:

Australia

Business Challenge:

An inefficient disaster recovery solution meant that the company was risking losing minutes of critical data in the event of an outage. This solution was also costing Funtastic a significant amount of money, causing them to start looking for a reliable DR solution.

Solution:

Brennan’s Cloud DR solution replicates data from numerous of its mission-critical virtualized servers to Brennan infrastructure, in real-time.

Results:

Funtastic now operates with greater peace of mind that they have reduced RPO and RTOs from minutes to seconds, saving them both money and time.

“When I started at Funtastic we were dealing with a number of vendors for both our hardware and software solutions, and one of my key priorities has been to consolidate that vendor list to one or two key providers, and we opted for one of those to be Brennan due to the depth of services it can provide us.”

Stuart Bennett, Group Manager of IT, Funtastic

“In comparison to the 15 minutes that our existing vendors could offer, with Brennan and Cloud DR, we were getting restores within 6-15 seconds. This ensures our people and customers now have minimal impact or disruption.”

Stuart Bennett, Group Manager of IT, Funtastic

The Situation

Funtastic is one of Australia’s leading distributors of toys, sporting and confectionery products. With some of the world’s leading brands in its portfolio, including Razor, Cabbage Patch Kids, LeapFrog and Pillow Pets, its products are greatly in demand with Australia’s leading retailers, such as Big W and Kmart. Funtastic also has international operations with offices in Hong Kong and China, where it develops its own brands such as Chill Factor and Pop Tape for distribution to the global marketplace.

For such a large business, an unexpected IT outage for any length of time would cause the business serious damage, both operationally and financially from lost orders through to loss of data in their ERP system.

Funtastic was struggling to find a disaster recovery solution that would meet its needs in terms of restore times, the company’s Group Manager of IT, Stuart Bennett said.

“We were looking at Recovery Time Objectives (RTO), which is how long to restore the system, and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO), which measures how long you have data loss for in the event of an outage,” Bennett said. “A lot of the competing products we were evaluating showed results against these objectives of fifteen minutes, which wasn’t really good enough.”

Funtastic hasn’t experienced an outage to date, but Bennett was concerned that in the event of one, the company could be looking at a catastrophe, if not a business-ending event.

“When I started here four years ago, I was given a document that was out of date, and I sat down with my boss at the time, the CFO, and went through where the document had flaws,” Bennett said. “One of those concerns was the DR, and I explained that we need to make sure the business is protected with disaster recovery so if something happens here the business can keep running. Because we’re a public company on the ASX we have corporate governance requirements that made it an easy sell.

The Challenge

An inefficient disaster recovery solution meant that the company was risking losing minutes of critical data in the event of an outage. This solution was also costing Funtastic a significant amount of money, causing them to start looking for a reliable DR solution.

The Solution

‘It’ was Brennan’s replication solution. A specialist in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery solutions for virtualized IT infrastructure and cloud environments, the Brennan Cloud DR solution replaces traditional array-based DR solutions that were not built to deal with virtual IT environments. By investing in the technology, customers gain access to far faster restores in the event of an outage, and this, in turn, means much less data loss.

“In comparison to the 15 minutes that existing vendors could offer, with Cloud DR, we were getting restores in 6, 10, 15 seconds. So if something happens here there would be much less impact on the business,” Bennett said.

Because Cloud DR is such a new product to market, Funtastic participated in a pilot program with Brennan before making the investment. Around eight months ago, the company created a sandbox environment to test the solution. In that environment, Bennett and his team were able to perform a complete DR test on its ERP system. They were able to boot up the system in under 10 minutes and could see transactions processed within the past minute before the test took place, which met the DR requirements of the business. These results were so impressive that Bennett moved from the initial intention to move five or so virtual machines to the Cloud DR solution, to moving the bulk of them over. With 12 servers already being protected by Brennan (a rollout that was achieved in just a week), and Brennan now providing DR solutions for 5TB’s of Funtastic’s critical data, Bennett said that he would be looking to move more in the future.

Because Cloud DR is such a new product to market, Funtastic participated in a pilot program with Brennan before making the investment. Around eight months ago, the company created a sandbox environment to test the solution. In that environment, Bennett and his team were able to perform a complete DR test on its ERP system. They were able to boot up the system in under 10 minutes and could see transactions processed within the past minute before the test took place, which met the DR requirements of the business. These results were so impressive that Bennett moved from the initial intention to move five or so virtual machines to the Cloud DR solution, to moving the bulk of them over. With 12 servers already being protected by Brennan (a rollout that was achieved in just a week), and Brennan now providing DR solutions for 5TB’s of Funtastic’s critical data, Bennett said that he would be looking to move more in the future.

The Results

In addition to a greater sense of security, Funtastic has benefited in other crucial areas as well, Bennett said. The solution itself is more user friendly, meaning the Funtastic IT team can log in and see what is happening much more quickly and efficiently than had been previously possible.

Furthermore, the investment in the new technology is now saving the company money. “The cost is working out at a couple of thousand dollars a month, and that is much cheaper than the solution we were previously using,” he said.

“A lot of businesses don’t’ look at recovery or DR because it is perceived to be so expensive,” Bennett added. “But it’s important to have minimal data loss. For businesses that do e-Commerce or transactional-type work especially, it should be seen as a business-critical investment.”

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