Enterprising Developments

Virtualization as a Disaster Recovery Strategy

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, April 24, 2012

There's plenty of interest in virtualization as an important foundation of cloud computing, but for an insurance wholesaler supporting properties in the world's premier hurricane zone, it is essential to the continuity of the business.

In a recent BriefingsDirect podcast, Dana Gardner spoke with Tim Moudry, associate director of IT, and William Chambers, IT operations manager at Myron Steves, a Houston-based insurance wholesaler supporting 3,000 independent insurance agencies in the Gulf Coast region.

As Moudry explained, the company's journey to virtualization began with Hurricane Ike—which ripped through the Gulf Coast in 2008. “When Hurricane Ike came, we were using another DR support company, and they gave us facilities to recover our data,” he says. “They were also doing our backups. We went to that site to recover systems, and we had a hard time recovering anything. We were testing it, and it was really cumbersome. We tried to get servers up and running. We stayed there to recover one whole day and never got even a data center recovered.”

Moudry and Chambers recognized that to survive a similar event—in which clients will be expecting service almost immediately thereafter—there had to be a better way. The Myron Steves team decided their systems needed to be 100 percent virtualized, so they could run anywhere, anytime, at any facility.

The company employed virtualization software from VMware. Not only are they able to free their systems from a physical location, but also consolidate their server farms. “We are not buying equipment like we used to,” said Moudry. “We had 70 servers and four racks. It compressed down to one rack.” Server maintenance costs are now about 10 percent of what they were before virtualization, Chambers added.

It's also easy to create new servers, Chambers continued. “Making new servers is nothing. I copy a template and rename it. The deployment of new servers takes 20 minutes.”

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (1)

Magnificent post. Surely, I got a real information about related topic. We greet for your helpfully job.http://www.makrana-marble.com/

Posted by: Hussain R | June 20, 2012 1:40 AM

Report this Comment

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

Smarter Tablet Use Could Transform Insurance

By reducing administrative tasks and automating paperwork, tablets can increase agentsí selling time and help them respond to customers in seconds, not hours.

Insurance Wake-Up Call: Embrace the Shared Economy Opportunities

SMA believes that insurers must embrace a "shared economy," crowdsourcing and open innovation to get ahead in the new marketplace.

Silicon Valley Ventures

A trip to area hotbed of technological innovation calls into question the potential viability of insurers' legacy systems, operations and processes.

The Lion and the Mouse: Start-ups Pitch to Top Insurer

Insurers should be on the lookout for innovative partnership arrangements that produce unique and valuable solutions.

Open Source Continues its March into the Enterprise

Insurers have a range of open-source options for running their businesses.

Sometimes The Best Way to Speed Up is to Slow Down

Insurers across all lines of business increasingly recognize that their core systems are not able to properly position them to deal with imminent competitive threats.