Car loan specialist Close Motor Finance has boosted its business continuity capability with a unified networking package that enhances the security and flexibility of a virtual private network covering the firm's 13 UK sites.
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Close Motor Finance's deployment of NetDevices' SG-8 Unified Services Gateway means its VPN can be instantly switched from its head office to a disaster recovery site.
This provides full access to all of the firm's business-critical systems for up to 120 users. In normal business operations the system handles 180 users.
Close Motor Finance, which is is headquartered in Doncaster, provides finance packages and support insurance services to vehicle dealerships.
Two years ago it created a disaster recovery site at its Peterborough branch to replicate business-critical systems.
However, the functionality of the system was limited, said Dave Coleman, head of IT at Close Motor Finance. He said the need to introduce a system which provided full end-user functionality had propelled the firm towards the upgrade.
Close Motor Finance uses thin client technology from Citrix to link its 13 branches to its Doncaster datacentre.
With the NetDevices system, the servers in the datacentre are backed up to the Peterborough site every two hours through a dedicated secondary line.
This gives full security, voice and networking functionality from the Peterborough site should it ever be needed.
Close Motor Finance runs an Oracle back office, using 10g for the application server and a 9i database.
The company uses IBM servers and runs Microsoft Windows 2000 on its desktops delivered via Citrix technology running on six terminal servers.