Maxava Touts HA Installation at Jake’s Finer Foods
November 16, 2010 Alex Woodie
The passage of Hurricane Ike through Texas in 2008 convinced the folks at Jake’s Finer Foods that they needed a high availability (HA) solution to protect their critical IBM i-based systems. While there have thankfully been no hurricanes as big as Ike since then, the company is happy with the investment it made in HA software from Maxava (formerly Maximum Availability).
For those who lived in coastal Texas, Hurricane Ike still elicits bitter memories. The storm came ashore at Galveston, Texas, on September 13, 2008, as a Category 2 hurricane, but with a storm surge of a larger cyclone. After it was gone, the storm cost about 140 lives and did $38 billion in damage, making it one of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history.
Jake’s Finer Foods, a Houston, Texas-based food company that distributes food to 1,500 food service companies and restaurants around the country, managed to escape the storm mostly unscathed. The company lost power for 12 days, but thanks to generators, it managed to keep the lights and air conditioning on at its 180,000-square-foot warehouse.
Hurricane Ike did succeed in initiating an overhaul of Jake’s disaster recovery (DR) strategy. The previous DR strategy was nothing more than a “wing and a prayer,” says Armand Page, vice president of operations and IT at Jake’s. “We’d have been out of luck. Hurricane Ike changed how we looked at disasters,” Page says.
Page evaluated IBM i DR and HA options on the market, and in the end selected Maxava’s high-end product, called HA Enterprise, to protect Jake’s core IBM i applications, which are developed by Retalix. Jake’s worked with a local Maxava business partner, Source Data Products of Fountain Valley, California, to install and configure HA Enterprise running on its existing IBM i server and a new server, a Model 520.
Today, Jake’s is well-prepared for the next hurricane. The company’s transactional data is replicated in real time to a secondary IBM i server located away from the company’s headquarters, lessening the chance that a single event can interrupt business.
That the whole implementation was done in 90 days is great news to Jake’s. “We were as green as we could be going in, and to have this quick a result is unimaginable,” Page says in a press release. “We couldn’t be happier.”