UCG Champions Technology Upgrade
June 16, 2014 Dan Burger
Businesses have a tendency to evolve. If they don’t, quite often, they aren’t in business long. A key part of the evolution is maintaining a technological infrastructure that supports change. Technological evolution is an essential component for businesses in growth mode, even in IBM midrange shops where high-mileage systems that are highly reliable are a source of pride.
The Ohio AFSCME Care Plan, which covers more than 41,000 public and non-profit workers in Ohio, realized it needed a technology upgrade to support not only its current requirements, but also its future growth. To assist with its technology upgrade planning and implementation, the organization turned to United Computer Group (UCG), an information technology services firm with deep knowledge in IBM Power Systems and IBM i, which is based in suburban Cleveland, Ohio.
Michael Bauer, the plan administrator, and Rae Borders, the IT manager at Ohio AFSCME Care Plan, collaborated with UCG to accomplish two goals. The first was to upgrade to a new IBM Power 7+ system running IBM i. The second was to replace the organization’s outmoded IBM 9406-250 tape-based backup system, which was no longer compatible with IBM’s latest backup products, with VAULT400, a backup as a service (pay as you go licensing model) for data protection.
VAULT400 was tested on a 30-day trial basis prior to the backup as a service system being selected to replace the time-worn, tape-based system. During the implementation stage, Vladmir Capitanov, UCG’s lead engineer, compressed, encrypted, and backed up the old system data to UCG’s main data center in Cleveland. It was then replicated it to UCG’s Atlanta, Georgia, data center, where it is password protected. When the IBM Power 7+ system was ready, the stored data was downloaded to the new system. After a smooth two-week test period, Ohio AFSCME Care Plan updated the latest changes prior to final cutover.
Borders, the IT/IS supervisor, says VAULT 400 has exceeded expectations. “The migration was speedy and without down time,” she says. “The assurance that our data is in a protected environment that HIPAA compliancy is being met is a good feeling.”
The organization also signed up for Disaster Recovery Quick Ship, which delivers a replacement IBM i server in the event of a disaster.
Vault400 provides several recovery time objectives (RTO) options, including 12-hour, 24-hour, and 48-hour services. The company also offers high availability hosting services and as well as its Quick Ship program.