Maxava Customer Installs HA Software Just In Time
July 30, 2013 Alex Woodie
It didn’t take long for Smith Brothers Stores to realize a return on its investment in Maxava‘s high availability (HA) software. Just two weeks after going live on Maxava Enterprise+, the UK-based industrial supply company leaned heavily on the software to save it from a potentially devastating situation.
Smith Brothers Stores sells a range of products to construction firms in the UK, including pipes, fittings, valves, HVAC equipment, tools, and other items. The 116-year-old company sells its products from nine locations across the country, as well as through an e-commerce website. Supporting the 100-person business is the IBM i-based Accord Focus ERP application, which helps manage the inventory and process online transactions, among other tasks.
SBS started looking for a way to bolster its tape-based disaster recovery (DR) solution after an electrical substation went out of commission near its headquarters in Leicester, according to a case study recently posted to the Maxava website.
The company’s IT manager, Peter Hulcoop, said it was important to be up and running on a backup machine in less than a day’s time. “The key to recovery is speed and we needed to find a HA solution that was more feasible for a company of this size,” Hulcoop says in the case study. SBS selected Maxava Enterprise+, the high-end solution offered by the New Zealand-based HA software company.
Two weeks after going live on the HA software, the company performed routine maintenance on its IBM i server. What should have been a routine disk replacement turned into a potential disaster. “There was a fault on the IBM i [server] and the people from our hardware maintenance supplier said it could be fixed in a day,” Hulcoop says in the case study. “It was down for more than three weeks.”
Thanks to the Maxava software, SBS had a full copy of its data on its backup machine. The only challenge would be performing a role swap to turn its backup machine into the production server. The company had not yet had time to test the role swap process. With help from the folks at Maxava, the failover was executed.
“Once we failed over, we knew within seconds that the data was fully replicated and we were only missing a few seconds at most. We didn’t lose any data or any transactions,” Hulcoop says. “Thank goodness we bought Maxava when we did. Given the circumstances, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief when it worked successfully at a critical moment for us.”