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Windstream Hosted Solutions
Windstream Hosted Solutions has about twenty data centers currently operating, primarily east of the Mississippi, with more under construction.
“IT is increasingly critical to operations for all businesses, and acceptable downtime for key applications has shrunk dramatically in recent years,” says Jaclyn Mispagel, Windstream Hosted Solutions, sr. consultant - product marketing. “Yet many companies have no disaster recovery plan or have serious gaps in their plans that limit their ability to quickly restore operations in the event of a disaster.”
“[Other companies] are piecing together disparate services to make a solution for the customer,” she says. “We have already done the initial legwork on this and have created the solution base packaging to help make it easier for the customer to understand the benefits.”
All the DR services are provided from Windstream’s SSAE 16-compliant data centers equipped with 2N power and cooling, and 80 percent of the customer base is also using the data centers for hosting production environments. Customers can use Internet (VPN recommended) and/or private MPLS connectivity to access the DR environment—either Windstream provided or third party. Windstream monitors the replication processes to ensure they are successful. Customers also have access to a cloud portal to monitor the status of their DR environment in real time.
There is an initial DR drill (test) immediately after implementation, and the packages standardly include one additional DR drill annually. The customer has the option to purchase additional DR drills. The DR drill is set up to be non-impacting to production and not break replication.
Windstream offers multiple packages to meet various customer environments, physical or virtual. Each of these packages has a basic pricing set up of a base package fee (includes virtual firewalls, VLANs, DR drills, etc.) and variables such as the number of servers, filers being protected, total storage price per GB, and the various recovery VMs or recovery pools that may be needed by the customer. The SLAs call for 100 percent uptime on the infrastructure, 99.9 percent uptime on cloud services and an RTO of four hours (up to 50 VMs).
Acronis offers a software-only solution that includes compression and deduplication, only sending block level changes to the cloud for backup. The company serves SMBs through enterprises, with a strong presence in the government and education sectors. A single console is used to manage backup and recovery for physical, virtual and cloud environments.
“Acronis allows for the creation of live images of physical image,” says Seth Goodling, director of strategic technology at Acronis. “Not only does it protect the physical infrastructure but it also allows you to move to different infrastructure in case of physical hardware failure.”
The software supports Windows and Linux servers and desktops, and provides granular recovery for Microsoft databases (Exchange, SQL, Active Directory and Sharepoint.) The company also provides disk space for disk-to-disk-to-cloud backup. Services are priced per physical host.
HP offers enterprise clients Continuity Services from recovery centers located in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
“All enterprises today are reliant on their IT environment to run their business processes,” says Annabelle Baxter, manager, worldwide media relations, for HP Enterprise Services. “HP offers Continuity Services to protect and minimize disruptions to IT infrastructures and associated business processes caused by site outages, disasters, and environmental events and to assist with general system/application availability.”
HP’s midrange recovery services come in four levels. Active-active comes with dedicated, fully managed equipment and near-zero recovery time objective and near-zero recovery point objective. Hot site service is cloud-based disaster recovery with a 1-4 hour RTO and 15 minute RPO. Warm sites have shared, managed services with RTOs of 8 to 24 hours and RPOs based on the last backup. Finally, there are cold sites with shared equipment and no managed services. HP also offers active-active, hot site and warm site recovery services for mainframes, with approximately 240,000 MIPS (million instructions per second) of IBM System z mainframe capacity.
HP provides recovery services for most types of servers, storage, databases, applications and mobile devices. It has 10,000 seats of mobile and fixed workspaces for emergency use, both general workspaces as well as areas tailored for call centers and the financial services industry. The prices depend on the services desired. For HP Enterprise Cloud Services, continuity is priced primarily based on the size and number of servers protected and the amount of storage protected.