In any discussion of the important issues businesses face in migrating to the cloud, disaster recovery is always near the top of the list. In point of fact, however, disaster recovery is a major concern for many businesses, regardless of whether they utilize cloud computing or function in a traditional IT environment. That is certainly the case for the Elliott Group, a global leader in the design, manufacture, and service of technically advanced centrifugal compressors, steam turbines, power recovery expanders, and axial compressors used in power applications and in the petrochemical, refining, oil, and gas industries. 

Faced with the challenge of implementing a scalable, cost-effective network solution to simplify and improve the disaster recovery process for two of its data centers, the Elliott Group considered several network providers. Its list of requirements included a network solution that would enable a fast and efficient disaster recovery process while also providing optimum protection of corporate data, scalable bandwidth to ensure expeditious Internet access, and the ability to segment business communications for additional security. After carefully evaluating all available options, the Elliott Group chose Comcast Business Ethernet Network Service and Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet Service.

Corralling a complex process

At the start of this project, the Elliott Group’s disaster recovery process involved backing up data from each of the two data centers to tapes, a cumbersome solution that required employees to purchase tapes, monitor the procedure, and then arrange for the tapes to be transported to a secure, offsite location. Richard Bollinger, Technology Manager of Corporate IT for the Elliott Group, knew the process could be automated and that doing so “would save us time and money and provide an even more secure process.” In conducting its due diligence search of potential providers, the Elliott Group reached a simple conclusion: “Only one of the network companies offered a cost-effective solution that provided reasonable recovery time and recovery point objectives for our disaster recovery process,” Bollinger said.

With Comcast Business Ethernet Network Service, Bollinger and his team now use virtual local area network (VLAN) trunking to transfer backed-up data from the main data center to the recovery data center, rather than making tapes and physically transporting them. “Not only can we transfer data much faster, more efficiently, and more securely than before, we also rely on Comcast for operational flexibility,” Bollinger said. “We move computing resources between sites without disrupting the system or affecting users.”

At the same time, the Elliott Group now relies on Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet Service for scalable, high-speed Internet access. “We have multiple remote sites on an Internet virtual private network (VPN), which requires a good deal of bandwidth,” Bollinger explained. “But that’s no problem for Comcast. Bandwidth is consistently available and scalable.” This solution also provides the Elliott Group with the ability to segregate business communications. “Through one connection, we provide Internet access for visitors and separate Internet access for employees,” he said. “It’s important to separate VPNs from Internet browsing for security purposes.”

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