Affigent Masters Hurricane Preparedness, Avoids Hurricane Sandy

As Hurricane Sandy gathered steam near the East Coast of the US, businesses in the line of sight of the hurricane scrambled to address the complex issues of disaster recovery. With their virtualized infrastructure, managed as a private cloud by Integrity Virtual IT, companies like Affigent were able to continue working through the storm, with no impact on business operations.

Back up to a few months prior; Affigent requested that their IT consultant, Ron Offer at Integrity Virtual IT, go search for a disaster recovery (DR) tool which would have the ability to protect all of their business-critical company processes and tools. A local incident in which a truck accident inside a tunnel cut all fiber connections to some area data centers helped Affigent realize that they needed a secondary data center for recovery and a solid DR tool.

Affigent LLC  is a government contractor and therefore has a large sales force that is spread across the United States with a smaller international presence. For Affigent, IT is business critical. When a US government agency requests a bid or proposal from Affigent, a deadline is given and agreed upon. If IT systems are not available when deadlines approach, proposals & orders cannot be made or sent, resulting in large revenue loss.

Affigent hosts their ERP and CRM solutions at Integrity Virtual IT’s Tier 1 CoreSite data centers in Reston, VA and Chicago, IL. Both data centers run on VMware infrastructure. Ron suggested Affigent look at hypervisor-based replication for disaster recovery. Ron looked into the features of cloud-based DR in the hypervisor with Zerto and found it could provide some features that other DR solutions did not include:


Hardware-agnostic — so customers can replicate data from any type of storage to any other type of storage. Without this, a customer has to match the hardware brand and technology of their cloud provider, an expensive proposition.

Simplicity — many of the manual tasks associated with a typical BC/DR solution are automated with hypervisor-based replication that sits within the virtualized infrastructure, reducing or eliminating errors.

Hypervisor-based replication from Zerto was approved and put into place at the Affigent hosted data center. As the hurricane approached, Ron recommended that Affigent move its primary private cloud platform from Reston, VA, which was predicted to be in harm’s way, to a data center in Chicago, IL. Actual failover to the Chicago site was performed during Monday lunchtime. Servers were shutdown cleanly, latest changes were replicated and then servers were restarted in the DR site. It took 35 minutes to move and another 20 minutes to fully test all applications that were failed over to the Chicago site.

Affigent continued to fully operate without any data loss in the secondary data center until the storm passed. Affigent was able to conduct business during the storm and provide its customers with timely responses across its entire sales force.

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