ISU Insurance Group includes a national database of insurance knowledge and one of the nation’s largest health insurance brokers, with more than 100 offices and 1,000 professionals nationwide. The group had been a client for some time when CEO T.J. Ryan called us in and asked for our help ensuring that the company’s current server environment was meeting stringent data protection and business continuity regulations governing the health insurance industry. He also wanted to be sure the company could provide uninterrupted data access from its many remote offices.
We put together an analysis of the company’s current server environment and made recommendations, based on the CEO’s request that the new solutions provide superior service to ISU’s end users and clients for the next five years.
At ISU’s current pace, they were replacing a server every year with a vast majority of servers approaching the end of life within the year. The current servers could not handle the expected data growth, were not adequate for the upcoming software application upgrades needed, and did not have vital redundancies in place.
By taking advantage of our COMPLETE Data Protection service, ISU’s server environment could be fully operational within 24 to 48 hours in the event a disaster prevented access to servers located at their San Francisco headquarters. Bay Computing wanted to support the CEO request to shorten this recovery time.
Based on our knowledge of ISU’s technical environment and business goals, we recommended that ISU move from a physical server environment to a virtual server infrastructure with a storage area network (SAN). According to our analysis, this would allow ISU to accomplish its goals and save money on hardware replacement and operating costs.
We implemented a virtual server and storage environment using a Dell® EqualLogic® Storage Area Network, VMware® infrastructure solution suite, and redundant custom Dell virtual host servers. We migrated all of ISU’s physical servers to the virtual environment ahead of schedule and with nearly zero downtime for ISU’s end-users and customers. After the migration was complete, Bay Computing setup replication of ISU’s virtual environment to our own virtual environment located in a SAS 70 Type II certified datacenter located in Phoenix, Arizona.
The solution eliminated the need to purchase new hardware for the next five years and improved complete recovery time of ISU’s virtual server environment to less than one hour, also boosting server uptime to 99.99%. With redundancies at every layer, ISU now exceeds its regulatory data protection and business continuity requirements.
Hardware and Software Used
- Dell EqualLogic Storage Area Network
- VMware with Virtual Center Management
- Dell PowerEdge® Virtual Ready Servers
- Dell PowerConnect® iSCSI Optimized Switches
- Microsoft® Windows® Server for Virtual Infrastructure Management
ISU Insurance Services
San Francisco, California
ISU Group’s San Francisco headquarters supports a national network of more than 100 independent insurance agents and its national database of insurance knowledge. The Power of Independence, the Strength of a National organization and the Unity of the Network allows ISU members to effectively solve any insurance and financial risk management problem with the best pricing, coverage, claims settlements, security and peace of mind.