To help its global railway customers prevent disruptions and ensure passenger safety across extensive railway networks, MERMEC Group needed to ensure high availability for its asset management services. With help from IBM Business Partner H.S. Systems, the group implemented IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery to manage the backup of its critical services and data.
MERMEC Group’s services span from the manufacturing of special motor units for railroad monitoring to the development of diagnostic systems for rail infrastructure and of software for railroad maintenance, inspection optimization and renewal planning. These services rely on a number of different IT assets, including a suite of SAP ERP applications running on IBM AIX® on IBM Power Systems™ servers and Microsoft Windows-based applications running on IBM System x® servers and IBM BladeCenter® blades. Given the safety implications of its services, MERMEC Group needs to be sure that its operations are always up and running, and that data is safeguarded and quickly recovered in the unlikely event of a system failure. With a complex IT landscape relying on costly heterogeneous backup solutions, the company realized that it was potentially at risk. Domenico Scardicchio, CIO at MERMEC Group, explains, “We began to realize that our operations were not protected in a centralized way and therefore that we did not have a comprehensive view of the health of our systems. We started wondering: What would happen if something went wrong on one of our critical servers and this switched off crucial services for our customers around the world – customers who rely on our services to understand the performance of their railway assets?
“The consequences for our customers could be severe, as their ability to ensure operational safety would be compromised. In order to prevent this imaginary scenario from becoming a reality, we knew that we needed to make sure that our services would always be functioning, regardless of any potential underlying IT issues.”
A long-term IBM client, MERMEC Group joined forces with highly trusted IBM Business Partner H.S. Systems to deploy a backup solution based on IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery software to cover the entirety of its critical servers.
The Tivoli suite is deployed as a bundle of integrated software tools for smarter data protection and recovery. Today, MERMEC Group is using IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Extended Edition and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Enterprise Resource Planning for its SAP ERP landscape, and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack® for Microsoft Exchange and Bare Machine Recovery for the IBM System x and BladeCenter environment.
By offering the right data protection tool for each of MERMEC Group’s specific requirements, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery provides high levels of data protection for the company. The solution also manages the recovery of critical processes after a system failure – a crucial concern for MERMEC Group, as even a minor failure could easily translate into service disruption and, ultimately, undermine its customers’ operations.
In the unlikely event of an unplanned outage in the IT environment, the integrated tools within the IBM Tivoli suite enable rapid recovery of mission-critical applications, while performing full data recovery in the background – helping MERMEC Group to restore services quickly.
Furthermore, the new solution enables the company to perform diskto-disk-to-tape backups. By recovering data from disk instead of tape in the event of an unplanned outage, MERMEC Group can dramatically accelerate its recovery process.
Thanks to the deployment of IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery, MERMEC Group now enjoys full, reliable and automated protection of its entire critical server environment.
“With the IBM Tivoli solution, we know that we are in safe hands. The software allows us to perform daily backups of our production environment, and this gives us total peace of mind – we know that, regardless of any system failure, we will be able to restore our operations, restore our critical data and ensure timely business continuity for our customers,” says Domenico Scardicchio. With a single, centralized backup and disaster-recovery solution, MERMEC Group has significantly simplified the management of its data recovery operations, as well as reduced the licensing costs associated with the previous requirement to deploy different solutions from different vendors. Domenico Scardicchio adds, “Making extended use of the Tivoli software has also allowed us to establish a one-day recovery time objective [RTO] and recovery point objective [RPO] for critical systems – which was not possible for us to do on any formal basis in the past. Having these formal metrics in place will help us to benchmark our recovery performance as we continue to refine and develop our disaster-recovery capabilities.”
He concludes, “Choosing IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery as the centralized, unified backup solution for our company has already delivered significant benefits, and we are expecting to see a full return on our investment within two years.”