Rakon Case Study

Optimising backup solutions to reduce risk and meet business demands

Rakon Building Cover

Key Outcomes

  • Fully-managed offsite backup
  • Recovery objectives aligned with business objectives
  • Regular testing of recovery capabilities
  • Compliance with audit requirements

Situation

Rakon is a global high tech company that designs and manufactures world leading frequency control and timing solutions. Their products feature where speed and reliability are essential in solutions that include infrastructure, aerospace, and navigation devices.

Rakon's New Zealand head office supports plants in New Zealand, France, the UK and a joint venture in India.

The Business Challenges

All of Rakon's production servers are located on a single site at their Auckland premises. Across their infrastructure, nine key servers manage their business critical systems and more importantly their data. They identified a need to meet specific recovery timeframes for different types of data and to ensure they had copies of essential data that were geographically separate to their live systems. Their existing tape-based backup solution did not have the required level of functionality.

The business worked with Plan B to identify a solution that would:

  • Provide an alternative to tape-based backup for key data to meet the recovery timeframes required, including:
  • Continuing to meet commercial supply imperatives for aerospace and other sensitive markets.
  • Continuing to meet special legal and regulatory obligations regarding data retention and availability.

They chose to retain tape backups for some non-critical data but moved time- sensitive data to Plan B online services that could deliver improved recovery timeframes.

Plan B's backup, business continuity and DR solutions are simple to understand and use, as well as being fully managed by a team of dedicated Kiwi specialists.


Ben Parry,
IS Infrastructure Manager for Rakon

The Business Implications

All international office and manufacturing facilities rely on the systems in New Zealand to continue business operations. The risk of a site failure in New Zealand could potentially impact sales and manufacturing capabilities in all of Rakon's overseas locations. The recovery timeframe of up to 3 days for data from their existing tape infrastructure was unsatisfactory for key systems.

Specific customers also require Rakon to retain manufacturing data and make it available to them in line with international regulations. Rakon are legally and commercially bound to ensure multiple copies of data are retained for specific systems. Any new systems need to ensure Rakon can continue to deliver this.

Regular recovery testing through Plan B also supports Rakon's audit processes as it provides an independent test of likely recoverability to alternate hardware.

Solutions & Business Benefits

Plan B worked with Rakon to create a customised solution to meet their recovery time objectives, including:

  1. 1. Online Snapshot

    Online Snapshot to take a replica of Rakon's protected servers every 15 minutes. This is a fully-managed service with backup files stored on an onsite media agent for rapid self-recovery and copies automatically transferred offsite to a Plan B data centre. This ensures Rakon have access to very recent copies of critical data with no more than 15 minutes at risk at any time and multiple copies of data securely stored at different sites.

    Rakon enjoy the ability to quickly self-recover files that have been deleted, moved or corrupted on their production systems. They also appreciate the option to access granular recovery of email when required.

  2. 2. Equipment

    Equipment Colocation to allow equipment to be located within an alternate data centre to enhance Rakon's disaster recovery plan.

    Rakon uses a Plan B data centre to host routers that can be used to quickly stand up an alternate environment for their overseas offices if anything fails in the Auckland head office. This ensures the sales team can stay online and continue to handle customer requests.

  3. 3. Dedicated Connection

    Dedicated Connection to ensure cloud services being hosted by Plan B are not impacted by other Rakon Internet traffic and provide disaster recovery options.

    A dedicated connection from Plan B ensures Rakon's backups continue to perform as expected in a potential site failure and that offsite equipment can be easily re-presented to users in a crisis. It also provides carrier diversity as an alternate Internet link for the business.

  4. 4. Server Recovery Exercise

    Server Recovery Exercise to perform regular tests on the recoverability of Rakon's data on to alternate hardware, including indicative timeframes for recovery of each server.

    Rakon appreciate that these exercises prove that they can recover as expected. They also acknowledge that outsourcing the testing ensures exercises are completed regularly and not delayed due to higher priorities placed on resources internally.

  5. 5. Standby Equipment

    Standby Equipment to provide rapid access to ICT equipment during an unplanned event.

    If Rakon suffer a failure in their production equipment, they can recover critical business functions without delay using standby infrastructure to keep the business running, and avoid potentially large costs for unplanned downtime. This service means they do not need to invest in purchasing or maintaining duplicated equipment as part of their disaster recovery plan.

Plan B provide us with peace- of-mind that we can provide continuity of service to our global organisation.

Brent Clark,
IS Manager for Rakon