“The CFO was so impressed by the service delivered by Al-Roubaiai and his team together with Stage2Data that it became a benchmark to their shareholders as to how well their organisation is prepared for unforeseen disasters and cyber attacks”
Since Stage2Data came on board as DRaaS partner at CES Energy solutions in 2015, their IT team and CFO are positive about their quality of service and excellent support. Stage2Data has helped recover from a recent ransomware attack in a matter of minutes without incurring any significant data loss or disruption. Stage2Data has proven to me more than just a third party backup company, but rather a partner and thought leader in Information technology who are willing to share expert advice and direction.
CES started out and became established as one of Canada’s major Oil and Gas providers. Over the years they have diversified and established more than 12 brands with divisions spread all across Canada and the United States. During the past 2 years CES have expanded into new verticals such as the motor industry, pharmaceuticals and chemical.
After a series of unforeseen disasters between 2013 and 2014 such as fires, floods and power outages around the CES headquarters in Calgary, the board of directors realised that Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity was no longer an option – it had to become a necessity. That was when they appointed Mohamad Al-Roubaiai, Corporate IT Manager – Network & Security at CES to head up this division.
Al-Roubaiai’s first undertaking was to find the most suitable technology which could meet their organisation’s DRaaS requirements. At that point they had only 15 Virtual Machines (VMs) which have since grown to over 35 mission critical VMs, holding approximately 11 TB of data in Canada and a further 50 to 60 terabytes of data in the USA.
Zerto was chosen as the preferred technology to meet their DR requirements who in turn highly recommended Stage2Data as their preferred Canadian DRaaS service provider. After measuring them up against a long list of criteria, CES found Stage2Data to be the ideal long term DR partner.
According to Al-Roubaiai the onboarding with Stage2Data was smooth and dealing with their inhouse experts such as their VP of sales, Stephen Pyott, formed a long lasting partnership.
One thing that stood out for them was how Stage2data carefully listened to the pain points CES had experienced and how they always came back with a plan and solution that would address these pains without being pressured, oversold or mislead.
Al-Roubaiai said, “Stage2Data feels more like a close partner rather than a 3d party. Their response times are great, all SLAs have been met and we can all sleep better at night, knowing that we can access our data at any time, 24/7. It really takes the pressure off us as we have a whole Stage2Data team on stand-by.”
Fully Recovered from a Ransomware attack
In a recent incident, an email infected with a ransomware virus (contained inside an attachment which looked like an invoice,) made it past the firewall. It got access to one of the accounting department’s file servers and started to encrypt and infect files. After unplugging the server from the network, they called Stage2data who could easily identify exactly when the virus entered. To be safe they picked the restore point to 20 mins prior to the breach and restored the data in Stage2Data’s test datacentre. After testing, they booted up the replication servers in their mirror datacentre which became the temporary production site. Once CES’ local servers were restored and up and running, they did a reverse replication and switched back during lunch the same day. No data was lost and business operations experienced minimal downtime. The CFO was so impressed by the service delivered by Al-Roubaiai and his team together with Stage2Data that it became a benchmark to their shareholders and staff as to how well their organisation is prepared for and handles unforeseen disasters and cyber attacks.
CES are busy expanding aggressively in the United States and are busy adding more nodes, tying up their data centers in Kansas, Houston Texas and Midlands Texas. Stage2data’s recent partnership with Rubrik seems like an attractive hybrid solution, covering aggressive RPO’s with Zerto and more static data with Rubrik. They still have a few (approximately 10%) non virtual servers in the States but the ultimate goal is going fully virtualised across the whole enterprise.
“We are very happy with this partnership and are looking forward to many more great years with Stage2data,” Al-Roubaiai concludes.