Datto helps Gore District Council avoid downtime during server relocation
The Gore District Council (GDC) is a local authority in Southland, New Zealand with a population of just over 12,000. The district’s economy is led by the primary sector while the community prides itself on its public gardens, recreational areas and street plantings, as well as its culture and history.
“The Gore District is small in size, however has much to offer,” said Duncan Blair, IT manager at Gore District Council. “The area radiates history and culture through its various museums and well-known Eastern Southland Gallery. What’s more is the district is acknowledged as the New Zealand capital of country music and the world capital of brown trout fishing as well as being renowned for its various events.”
The community relies on GDC to ensure all of its services and facilities are functional, so the need to have highly available IT systems is critical. With 11 remote sites and a main office based in Gore’s central business district, its IT infrastructure is spread across the district.
IT audits and building renovations
In 2019, GDC audited its IT infrastructure and quickly realised its business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solution wasn’t meeting certain expectations, which included the long-term retention of data, unknown recovery times, limited data snapshots and more.
Following the IT audit, GDC came to the conclusion it did not trust its BCDR solution and was potentially investing in technology that was not able to save the organisation’s operations if disaster struck. A change was needed.
Due to building renovations and upgrades, in December 2019 the team would be required to temporarily move offices, which meant relocating servers. And with the servers being known to have issues when relocating, there was an urgency to upgrade to a more effective and trustworthy BCDR solution.
Just in time for the big move
With the above in mind, GDC worked closely with its IT partner, Xeperno, to implement the Datto BCDR solution, Datto SIRIS. The implementation and setup process was seamless and extremely simple, which GDC was impressed with.
“Everything went to plan and was working just as we were told it would. The product was extremely cost effective and was doing everything we expected of it.”
“Everything went to plan and was working just as we were told it would,” said Blair. “The product was extremely cost effective, especially when compared to our previous solution, and was doing everything we expected of it. It made us wonder if there was a catch or hidden cost we hadn’t picked up on because it seemed too good to be true, but it turned out the solution was just that good.”
After having only implemented Datto for two weeks, the solution was put under the microscope during the server relocation. As expected, one of the relocated servers failed and wouldn’t reboot, meaning the Datto was called upon.
With all eyes on the new BCDR solution, it performed extremely well with staff not realising they were working off the Datto solution while the broken server was repaired. Overall, employees were working from the Datto for approximately one month and the SIRIS passed its examination with flying colours.
In addition to the above, the solution gave GDC comfort throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As its employees were working remotely, many updates and infrastructure upgrades weren’t able to go ahead, which had the potential to create cybersecurity vulnerabilities. However, GDC was able to take solace in the fact Datto was protecting its information assets and operations would be able to continue via its BCDR solution, should a breach occur.
Overall, GDC is extremely pleased with its Datto BCDR solution as it provides the organisation with peace of mind that operations will continue, regardless of the circumstances.
“A lot of the time, the issue with these types of technologies is they’re not needed, until they’re needed. It’s only at this point when you attempt to recover data will you realise if it works or not,” said Blair. “With Datto, we know the solution works because not only was it called upon in a real-life scenario, but we’re regularly encouraged to test it out, which reassures us that the organisation is confident in its technology.”
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