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Case Study-Ecclesiastical Insurance

Ecclesiastical Insurance boosts business continuity with Meridian IT

  • Industry: Financial Services

  • Business: Insurance

  • Focus: Backup and Recovery

  • Challenges

    • Backups were inefficient and riskedrunning into working hours • Large system restores could take up to4-5 days • Manual tape management was time-consuming for the IT team

Overview

To ensure that it can serve customers when they need it most, Ecclesiastical Insurance wanted to make its technology infrastructure more resilient and improve its disaster recovery processes. Meridian IT delivered an advanced backup and recovery solution based on IBM ProtecTIER technology, slashing backup times and enabling the insurer to restore critical systems in hours rather than days.

Business Challenge

Specialist insurer Ecclesiastical Insurance provides niche insurance cover, including churches, stately homes, and historic buildings, as well as charities and fine art. Headquartered in Gloucester, the company is the leading insurer of Grade I listed buildings in the UK providing coverage to over £275 billion of property worldwide.

Although Ecclesiastical Insurance operates in a niche market, it has the same needs as mass-market insurers when it comes to the reliability and availability of its business systems. When disaster strikes, customers expect their insurer to be there for them – no matter what. Ecclesiastical Insurance, therefore, places great importance on backup and recovery.

John Byrne, Team Lead, IT Infrastructure, Business Solutions at Ecclesiastical Insurance, explains: “The longer IT systems are down, the bigger the potential impact on our operations, and therefore on customer service. To ensure minimal disruption in the event of a disaster, we need to be able to restore data from critical business applications as quickly as possible.” Previously, Ecclesiastical Insurance used a combination of IBM Backup, Recovery and Media Services for IBMi (BRMS) and IBM Spectrum Protect (formerly known as Tivoli Storage Manager) to back up its IBM Power Systems and x86 servers onto tape storage. With thetremendous growth in data volumes over the last ten years, backups were taking longer and longer to run.

“Backup times just kept creeping up,” says John Byrne. “We were concerned that there was the possibility of the backup window extending into the following day which would also delay the copy function of tapes to our disaster recovery (DR) site, where we have a secondary tape library. The month end backup creation was also close to exceeding its window which meant additional manual manipulation to ensure that backups completed successfully and we remained within our business recovery SLA’s.”

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