Business Challenge

Diversified Lighting Associates (DLA) is a premier commercial lighting distributor. Prior to i2m migration, they faced the following challenges

  • DLA did not have an established Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan.
  • The increasing dependency on computers, local storage and telecommunications for operational support poses the risk that a lengthy loss of these capabilities could seriously affect the overall performance of the organization.
  • DLA recognized the low probability of severe damage to data processing, storage, telecommunications or support services capabilities that support the organization. Nevertheless, because of the potential impact to DLA, a plan for reducing the risk of damage from a disaster is vital. The DLA IT Business Continuity Plan was designed to reduce the risk to an acceptable level by ensuring the timely and orderly restoration of critical IT and telecommunications systems.
  • Headquarters, Branch offices and remote users suffered from weather-prone infrastructure and power outages.
  • Connectivity issues with branch offices caused data syncing difficulties with headquarters’ applications along with slow performance of local legacy infrastructure.
  • A legacy back-up system was prone to errors and required frequent maintenance, as well as expensive physical storage space and servers

Recognizing that AWS would be an ideal fit for DLA, i2m implemented a plan to maximize the benefits of both, including the following changes to DLA’s IT infrastructure

  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) features for DLA’s new cloud environment.
  • CloudBerry for File Backup and Restore and Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) operations.
  • Automated AMI and Snapshot Scheduling and Maintenance Solution using Elastic CloudGate and AWS Lambda
  • Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) for DR functions to different regions.
  • Direct Archive into Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Amazon S3 Glacier for long term retention of documents using CloudBerry archive jobs.
  • Centralized primary file storage and sharing using Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) on Amazon EC2
  • Storage and Systems Governance and Cost Optimization Platform using CloudHealth by VMware
  • Cloud based Global Alerting/Monitoring Solution for storage and critical systems.

i2m added additional Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR), Primary Storage, Backup, Restore and Archival capabilities for DLA’s new cloud environment

  • We implemented our managed i2mcloud Enterprise Backup solution which uses Amazon S3 as its cloud-based storage and backup agents running on critical nodes in their infrastructure to establish DR and Business Continuity capabilities.
  • We also took advantage of Amazon Glacier for long term-archiving and retention of outdated documents and data replacing legacy tape backups.
  • This solution also took advantage of end-end encryption for data at rest and in transit.
  • Full regional failover capabilities are tested quarterly.
  • Automated AMI and Snapshot Scheduling and Maintenance Solution using Elastic CloudGate and AWS Lambda
  • We designed a cloud-based monitoring/alerting system for their on-premise and cloud-based resources giving DLA and i2m complete visibility and control into their environments.
  • Used CloudHealth for ongoing Cost Management, Governance, Security and Optimization

Druva InSync for mobile device security and backup giving DLA new capabilities

  • Self-Service – Users are able to control their own backup and restore operations.
  • Endpoint Data Protection – High performance backup, encryption, remote wipe and geo-location of laptops and smart devices
  • Data Compliance Monitoring – Identification and remediation at-rest sensitive data risks (PHI, PII, PCI)
  • Federated Search – Quick location of files across endpoints and cloud applications
  • Legal Hold Management & eDiscovery Enablement – Instantly preserve custodian data for investigative and litigation needs
  • OS Migration and Device Refresh – Centralized management for large-scale migrations and self-service refreshes Endpoint Data Protection

The following AWS technology was used:

  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
  • Amazon S3 Glacier
  • Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)
  • AWS Import/Export
  • AWS Config
  • AWS CloudTrail
  • AWS CloudFormation
  • Amazon EC2
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
  • AWS Identity & Access Management (IAM)
  • AWS Lambda
  • AWS Directory Service

The following i2m managed technology was implemented:

  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) Implementation
  • Backup and Restore operations using Cloudberry Enterprise Backup
  • Direct archive into Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 Glacier for long term retention of documents using Cloudberry Enterprise Backup
  • Elastic CloudGate – AMI and Snapshot Scheduling and Maintenance Solution
  • Druva InSync Cloud Enterprise – Endpoint Backup Protection
  • CloudHealth by VMware – Storage and Systems Governance and Cost Optimization Platform


i2m Solution Benefits

By migrating DLA to the cloud, i2m optimized their infrastructure, which allowed remote users, branch offices, and headquarters to connect seamlessly to the cloud environment anywhere and from any device. This connectivity increased DLA’s stability, availability, and redundancy, as well as increased performance gains for their critical business applications. Using Microsoft Office365 and i2m SaaS services made software compliance, deployment, and management simple and efficient. Migrating to a cloud-based infrastructure has had many benefits, including a 125% decrease in IT support calls and system problems, and added quick recovery in case of failure. Full recovery time of the environment was reduced from 1-2 weeks to just a few hours.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan identified the critical IT functions of DLA and the resources required to support them. The Plan provided guidelines for ensuring that needed personnel and resources are available for both disaster preparation and response and that the proper steps will be carried out to ensure DLA the timely restoration of services.

Ensuring that the Plan reflects ongoing changes to resources is crucial. This task includes updating the Plan and revising this document to reflect updates; testing the updated Plan; and training personnel.

Druva InSync provides a simple approach to protecting, preserving and discovering your data, while reducing costs, risk and complexity. This allowed for a scalable and more cost-effective way to run and manage their endpoint backup protection while taking advantage of new features and updates released by Druva. Druva InSync provided a great level of insight, compliance and governance over DLA’s mobile data and devices globally.

DLA now benefits from having Nagios Check_MK – a global monitoring and alerting platform which monitors their storage and critical systems. Nagios Check_MK allows DLA to view metrics about storage and system performance, utilization and status from a centralized management console.

With the addition of CloudHealth, DLA was able to gain visibility into their environment with a cloud management platform that enables users to analyze and manage cloud cost, usage and performance in one place. CloudHealth allows DLA to effectively manage their Amazon S3 and EBS storage costs to stay under budget by uncovering hidden costs, monitoring increases in spend and making impactful changes based on custom recommendations.

Elastic CloudGate offers DLA an automated method for scheduling and maintaining backups and snapshots of EC2 instances and EBS volumes. Automation of EBS snapshot maintenance helps DLA by checking for stale EBS snapshots and deleting them to help reduce storage costs.

The success of this migration pushed DLA with the help of i2m to move their headquarters infrastructure to a complete cloud-based environment, making DLA a solely cloud-based business. All systems are cloud based if not minimal hybrid architecture for legacy systems and devices. We provided more security, availability, and DR functionality using AWS Best Practice methodologies. The Goal was to create a lean Active Directory and Windows Application Server Environment that can be easily recovered and can scale and be agile with DLA’s growth year over year.

Staff embraced the new cloud environment quickly as they required no additional training for using their applications in the cloud (very minimal access training for using RDP/Remote APPs and VPN) as they are using their applications and environment just as they were before with no perceivable difference. We had aimed to exceed performance of the existing on-premise environment while providing a robust Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan. DLA stake holders were happy with the results of the cloud migration overall and Disaster Recovery Capabilities achieved. DLA was proud to be one of the first commercial lighting distribution companies running in an all cloud native environment that was completely built, designed, managed and optimized by i2m year over for cost and performance efficiencies.

Disaster Recovery and Cloud Environment Results

  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – 200% reduction in TCO over the course of 3 years compared to on-premise/co-located DR solution and 30% reduction in TCO over 3 years compared to other cloud providers
  • Disaster Recovery RTO –  4 Hours from 1-2 weeks on-premise
  • Disaster Recover RPO –  24 hour RPO for Files. 1 hour RPO for ERP system.
  • Disaster Recovery Durability Benefits – 99.999999999% Durability attained by using Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 Glacier. Previously Magnetic Disks were used which have a much lower durability rating.
    • Backed with the Amazon S3 Service Level Agreement
    • Designed to provide 99.999999999% durability and 99.99% availability of objects over a given year
    • Designed to sustain the concurrent loss of data in two facilities
  • Performance Gains  – Perceivable performance gains in user experience compared to running their environment on-premise.
  • Time Managing the Solution -125% decrease in time spent managing and maintaining the previous IT Environment Infrastructure went from ~80 hours/month to ~35 hour/month by using AWS
  • System Uptime and Availability – ~%99.99 over 2 year period, Increased from ~95% previously

Druva Results

  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – 35% reduction in TCO compared to on-premise solution.
  • Backup and Recovery RTO – Data available immediately for restore, restore depends on size of data being restored
  • Backup and Recovery RPO – 4 hours
  • Time Managing the Solution – 70% decrease in time spent managing and maintaining the Druva InSync Endpoint Backup solution from ~10 hours/month to ~3 hour/month
  • System Uptime and Availability – 5% increase in uptime and availability of the solution