Voice of Experience: Weathering the Storm

 
 
By Brian P. Watson  |  Posted 2006-08-07
 
 
 
Charlie Pelton
CIO
Market Street Mortgage
Clearwater, Fla.
www.msmcorp.com

MANAGER'S PROFILE: Manages I.T. for mortgage company with $3.5 billion in loan originations in 2005.

HIS PROJECT: Replace tape to back up loan-origination and e-mail applications, with real-time replication to a full-time recovery site in Lakewood, Fla.

SLOW GOINGS: In 2003, Market Street selected Veritas' Replication Exec, which copied vital data from the firm's data center to the Lakewood facility. Pelton claims Replication Exec had volume management controls that slowed down his Microsoft Windows platform for some reason he couldn't determine. However, Michael Parker, group product marketing manager with Symantec, which since acquired Veritas, says he's unaware of such problems, past or present.

QUICK FIX: A year later, Pelton switched to Neverfail Group, an Austin, Texas, data protection software maker. Pelton's team configured Neverfail for Exchange (which recovers all files, settings and databases tied to Exchange) and Heartbeat (which replicates data asynchronously) four times faster than most replication programs, he says.

LESSON LEARNED: Due diligence pays off, Pelton says, adding that technology managers should test programs before buying them.

WIND TUNNEL: Two hurricanes in 2004 knocked out power to Market Street's main office, first for 48 hours and then 72 hours, but the firm's programs kept operating from its backup facility. A two-day shutdown could have cost the firm almost $92 million, Pelton estimates. But, he says, "We were running and we were connected, and nobody knew the difference."