To ensure that it can serve customers when they need it most, Ecclesiastical Insurance wanted to make its technology infrastructure more resilient and improve its disaster recovery processes. Meridian delivered an advanced backup and recovery solution based on IBM ProtecTIER technology, slashing backup times and enabling the insurer to restore critical systems in hours rather than days.
Meridian’s support and advice definitely helped to make the project a success. We’ve all been really impressed with ProtecTIER – it does exactly what it says on the tin.
Team Lead, IT Infrastructure, Business Solutions
Specialist insurer Ecclesiastical Insurance provides niche insurance cover, including churches, stately homes, and historic buildings, as well as charities and fine art. Headquartered in Gloucester, the company is the leading insurer of Grade I listed buildings in the UK providing coverage to over £275 billions of property worldwide.
Although Ecclesiastical Insurance operates in a niche market, it has the same needs as mass-market insurers when it comes to the reliability and availability of its business systems. When disaster strikes, customers expect their insurer to be there for them – no matter what. Ecclesiastical Insurance, therefore, places great importance on backup and recovery. Previously, Ecclesiastical Insurance used a combination of IBM Backup, Recovery and Media Services for IBMi (BRMS) and IBM Spectrum Protect (formerly known as Tivoli Storage Manager) to back up its IBM Power Systems and x86 servers onto tape storage. With the tremendous growth in data volumes over the last ten years, backups were taking longer and longer to run.
The company worked closely with Meridian to profile its backup workloads and requirements. Next, Meridian used the IBM ProtecTIER sizing tool to complete a comprehensive sizing exercise to ensure that the ProtecTIER solution, with back-end IBM Storwize V7000 storage, would support the backup processes in the allowed backup window and ensure the right amount of disk space to store the backups in accordance with the retention plan.
Today, Ecclesiastical Insurance has a Highly Resilient Clustered ProtecTIER in place at its primary data centre, and a second ProtecTIER at its DR site. All production data gets deduplicated and compressed, then sent to the DR site. ProtecTIER replicates data automatically, so that instead of having to manually copy backup tapes from the production site to tape at the DR site, the ProtecTIER appliance at Ecclesiastical Insurance’s DR site automatically has a copy of data from the production site.