T&D World Magazine

Northeast Utilities Deploys Continuity Software Disaster Recovery Management Solution

Northeast Utilities, New England's largest utilities company, has deployed Continuity Software's RecoverGuard software and DR Assurance service to increase its confidence in its ability to recover critical IT systems in the face of a disaster.

Northeast Utilities' production and disaster recovery (DR) datacenters are large, complicated, heterogeneous, environments with myriad interdependencies. Its environment covers three states: Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and includes both UNIX and Windows servers, as well as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase databases. The datacenters support and protect business services across the organization including ERP, supply chain and customer relationship management, as well as both "off-the-shelf" and "home-grown" utility specific applications.

Because Northeast Utilities' IT environment was so large, interdependent and mission-critical, it was not able to simulate an accurate DR test scenario by shutting its systems down cold. In other words, in the real world there is no such thing as a 'graceful shutdown' during a true disaster event. Northeast Utilities had already implemented the most advanced technologies available and adhered religiously to industry best practices, however the addition of the Continuity Software disaster recovery management solution increased its confidence in its disaster recovery readiness.

Once deployed, RecoverGuard scanned Northeast Utilities' open systems DR environment nightly, ensuring that no inadvertent configuration changes might adversely affect its recoverability status. When an issue was detected, RecoverGuard delivered an instantaneous alert, allowing Northeast Utilities to take immediate action and ensure ongoing data protection, disaster recoverability and business continuity. Continuity Software's DR Assurance service further enhanced Northeast Utilities' DR strategy. Daily statistics, tickets and event notifications are now sent directly to the Continuity Software DR Specialists Team for review and analysis. When a problem is detected, a Continuity Software DR Specialist alerts Northeast Utilities and provides recommendations on how best to remedy.

Northeast Utilities has also benefitted from the RecoverGuard Optimization Engine's ability to leverage its in-depth DR topology map in order to detect both under and over utilized assets, allowing Northeast Utilities to fine-tune its resources and further drive infrastructure value.

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