Allocate Software is a specialist workforce management software provider, helping over 700 public and private sector companies worldwide to optimise large, multi-skilled workforces through the use of technology. They work in fast moving environments which demand that organisations optimise the deployment of their most valuable asset: their people. Availability of their IT systems is crucial to delivering on their promises to clients.
Plan B offers protection of Allocate’s critical IT systems, guaranteeing full return to service within twice the minutes it takes to boot their systems. Although we recover their systems and test each recovery daily; as part of the service, and to demonstrate the service is working, a 6 monthly disaster recovery exercise is carried out with Allocate. This is so that they can work live from their recovery platform and test it for themselves. Here is an interview with Allocate following their most recent test:
What is Allocate’s main requirement from a Disaster Recovery service?
“In short, like many it is to be up and running with base services ASAP. Primarily our Lync and Mail systems along with the CRM sales application.”
How does a good Disaster Recovery service benefit Allocate’s business?
“It ensures we can be there for our customers as we are a software company and need to respond to calls in a timely manner and also ensure development continues.”
Have you ever had the need to recover your IT systems? If so what happened?
“Yes, we experienced a SAN failure, which took down our CRM system, but full service was restored within 20 minutes of our call to Plan B”
Why do you feel going through this exercise is important?
“To get a clear understanding of the process required to initiate and what we can expect when a real requirement hits; to be able to clear out any nagging bugs or technical tweaks now so we aren’t fighting battles when serious drama has already hit us.”
Which members of staff within Allocate were aware of the exercise?
“In this instance just the IT team as we wanted to:
a) see the process
b) test basic systems like email and CRM”
How much of your time did it take?
“About half a working day in real time, so 3-4 hours although we had to test systems around for 6-7 hours.”
Was there any impact to the business of the exercise (was there any lack of productivity – if so for how long)?
“None, a separate sandbox test.”
Did the exercise match/exceed/not match expectations in terms of speed and ease of recovery?
“Yes indeed, I was pleasantly surprised at just how seamless it was.”
What are the benefits to you of having completed this exercise?
“To gather information on the process and to see it in action. The IT team here is all new(ish) so none of us had seen the Plan B recovery process before.”