How Woodforest National Bank Found a Summer-time Home for Its Data

By Zerto, on 7 July, 2011

Woodforest National Bank has a long history as one of the strongest community banks in the nation, with more than 750 branches in 17 states across the United States.   Its motto, “Banking Your Way…EVERY DAY AND NIGHT!” reflects a strong commitment to customer service, bolstered by its unique schedule: 24×7 live banking with tellers and personal bankers.  In addition, Woodforest National Bank is open every day of the year, save for Christmas Day.

Even more impressive, Woodforest takes extraordinary precautions with customer data. Woodforest migrates its entire datacenter every six months to avoid hurricane season, due to its proximity to the Texas coastline.  Each June, all production applications are pre-emptively “failed-over” to a secondary site, with a return to the primary site by mid- to late-October, avoiding the hurricane season. If a hurricane strikes the area, all of the systems are already protected.

Unfortunately, migration wasn’t simple.  Woodforest is 95 percent virtualized on VMWare vSphere. Using SAN-based replication with Woodforest’s virtualized environment made data migration more complicated.  “Virtualization is supposed to be about reducing complexity, but SAN-based replication makes deploying new applications, partial failovers, and other recovery activities complex and manual processes,” stated Richard Ferrara, CTO. “This type of replication required complex, labor-intensive setup and management and didn’t allow us to take full advantage of the flexibility and mobility of our virtual infrastructure.”

How did Zerto help?

Zerto provides a new replication paradigm – hypervisor-based replication – that removes the storage headaches from the equation. Providing fully virtual-aware replication with true block-level consistency across hosts and storage devices, Zerto is fully integrated into vCenter and makes end-to-end application recovery as simple as the click of a button.

Read the full case study to find out how hypervisor-based replication solved Woodforest’s migration challenge.

According to Ferrara, “Now we’re managing our applications, not our storage. Our disaster avoidance strategy is ready to overcome any disaster.” Watch the video.

We’ve spent the last six months or so installing Zerto’s hypervisor-based replication product in large enterprise data centers across the United States.  The feedback from our beta customers has been very positive and has helped us fine-tune the product.  We’re thrilled that our early adopters have found real value in the Zerto solution – so much so that they’re already publicly supporting our product.

Special thanks to Woodforest National Bank and Richard Ferrara for their support!