News Analysis

New Star cuts e-mail recovery to near real-time

Fund manager New Star Asset Management has reduced e-mail recovery
times from days to near real-time after rolling out Steeleye backup
technology on its Microsoft Exchange environment in London, Dublin
and Bermuda.

The firm decided to opt for a holistic backup solution during an annual
review of e-mail systems in 2004. The case for change was emphasised
following a security breach that year, after which e-mail restoration from
distributed local servers took 48 hours.

The new setup – using Steeleye’s Lifekeeper for Exchange – manages
replication of all e-mail data from the firm’s sites to disaster recovery
locations.

An initial pilot saw e-mail set up to replicate between in-house servers
but, once that was underway, New Star decided to use Steeleye Data Replication
to replicate between the production site at Knightsbridge, London, and
a SunGard disaster recovery site in London’s Docklands. Since then, it
has completed a roll-out of e-mail replication to the disaster recovery
site from offices in Dublin and Bermuda in August this year.

LifeKeeper for Exchange monitors and replicates block level traffic in
Exchange environments – including servers, storage, network connections
and Exchange processes – and initiates a recovery action if it detects a
failure. It also provides a simple interface for manual movement of
application data to eliminate outages during planned maintenance.

Charles Hornung, director of IT at New Star Asset Management, said,
"What surprised us was that during downtime we discovered that fund managers
and employees relied heavily on many aspects of Exchange. Diary and contacts
were actually more important than e-mail itself so it was untenable to
operate for 48 hours without full access to Exchange. In future, key
applications such as e-mail had to be available on demand to our 300 users."


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