Trinity Fund Administration is a global boutique hedge fund solutions company, providing middle and back office services to a wide range of investment funds, private and special purpose vehicles operating predominantly in the alternative investment arena. Trinity has offices in Dublin, Cyprus, the Cayman Islands, New York and Brazil. The company has 40+ employees globally servicing over 140 entities.
Trinity had a market requirement to achieve SAS 70 compliance in order to meet the auditing standards for their industry. As part of this process, the level of resilience in their IT infrastructure was of the utmost importance, because they provide mission critical services to their clients. Any downtime or serious disruption of their IT environment would result in potentially catastrophic damage to their business, so having a full offsite backup and DR solution was an essential requirement in order to achieve their industry SAS 70 compliance as well as meet the daily demands of their client base.
A critical point to note is that the new cloud backup and DR solution is subject to audited DR tests each year by the company auditors to ensure ongoing compliance. Another requirement was that certain file shares and databases have to be kept for seven years as part of the company’s regulatory requirements.
Technically, the environment consisted of ten x86 servers running a mix of 3rd party and bespoke applications. They operate a mix of physical and Hyper V servers, backing up to tape. In storage capacity terms, the environment was approximately 10TB of data.
Faced with meeting the stringent compliance and regulatory requirements, setting up a traditional DR solution with dual sites and all the replication in terms of hardware and software etc, Trinity decided to consider a cloud based solution.
After an extensive tender and evaluation process, Savenet were chosen to design and implement the new cloud backup and DR solution.
The solution consisted of two primary elements – one cloud based, to cover major disasters / system failures, the other was based on site, to cover smaller localised failures / disruptions.
Onsite solution: A Backup and Data Recovery appliance was installed on site built using FalconStor Continuous Data Protection technology. This is connected to all the servers and provides disk based continuous data protection. It enables any point in time recovery for local DR. Using this BDR appliance allows new versions of the existing servers to be spun up and served to the network within minutes in the event that any of the existing servers develop a problem.
Snapshots of each server are sent to the cloud based DR environment every hour so that the cloud system is replicating what is happening locally.
Cloud solution: The entire server environment is replicated in Savenet’s secure cloud hosting environment, based in a Dublin data centre. Asigra Cloud Backup was used to backup Trinity’s critical data for long term retention. The file shares and databases which must be kept for seven years to meet regulatory requirements are guaranteed to be available within minutes in the event that a data loss, audit or some other request to access old files should arise. Asigra Cloud backup was used to achieve this in a very cost effective way.
The cloud solution Savenet built for Trinity allows that in the event of a full disaster, where the servers are all out of action due to a catastrophic failure like fire or a flood, the business can roll over to the cloud servers easily and extremely quickly. There is provision for ten key users to have immediate access to the critical business applications. All these users have to do is use an existing hyperlink to login securely via an SSL VPN and access a hosted desktop over the web. The users can be based anywhere globally with a broadband connection which is extremely important for the company and its overseas users.
This system gives Trinity the assurance that their mission critical applications are always available to their users and customers, and can withstand any form of disaster; from a locally based minor system interruption or server failure, to a major disaster where their computer room is destroyed.
Cloud Backup and DR Solution
• Recover Point Objective (RPO) reduced from twenty four hours – to one hour.
• Recovery Time Objective (RTO) reduced from forty eight hours – to four hours.
• 95% of their data is de-duped before being sent to the DR site. This results in massive bandwidth savings and the cloud based DR solution does not require any additional bandwidth capacity, even with ½ TB of data being replicated each day.
• Guaranteed four hour SLA for all servers.
• Guaranteed access to critical database and file data for up to seven years after it has been active.
• SAS 70 compliance achieved – essential for the company to operate.
• Very significant risk reduction for the business.
• Very significant savings on long term costs.
Traditionally, Trinity would have to rent their own DR facilities in a hosting provider, including the cost of ten seats in DR facility. They would have to hire a services company to design the architecture, then evaluate and buy the necessary technology and then administer it over the long term. All the while they would have to factor in the cost of depreciating hardware, hardware maintenance costs, recurring software licensing costs. Then, you have the internal IT management cost of all this, which is non core activity.
To sum up the critical nature of their requirement and the risk of Trinity not having a DR solution like this, John McCann, Managing Director of Trinity said, “We would be dead, as simple as that. We are a global Asset Management service provider whose clients require information processed, analysed and collated on a daily basis. If that is not forthcoming, not only do we lose everything; many of our clients would too, based on their reliance on processes they outsource to us.”
“If we did not have this level of DR capability, these daily services and data management processes would not be available as required and would not allow our customers to manage their investment positions, market exposure, commercial risks etc.
The level of our business risk, should we not be able to perform our core critical services on a daily basis, is really not calculable to be honest, and that is not even talking about the subsequent law suits for failure to discharge our duties, which would no doubt follow,” he said.
This project was awarded the 2013 ICT Excellence Award for Best Private Sector Project in the SME category.