Canadian company Simmons Mattress has switched disaster recover supplier from Iron Mountain to EVault. The reason given is that when Simmons was hit with a region-wide power blackout in August, 2003, its disaster recovery (DR) supplier, Iron Mountain, was hit by the same blackout.

DR companies store backup tapes in secure repositories. When clients are struck with a disaster that knocks out IT facilities they resume operations on backup IT kit using data from the backup tapes. In this case the backup tapes could not be supplied because Iron Mountain was struck by the same power outage and had no alternate power supply facilities. It rendered the Simmons disaster recovery plan and the ready-and-waiting hot site useless.

“Off-site backup is of no value if you cannot get data back when you require it,” said Simmons Canada IT manager, Les Tomczak.

The irony of a a DR company having inadequate DR arrangements of its own was not lost on Simmons and it has switched to EVault for its DR services.

It has moved away from shipping tapes to a secured off-site vault and instead sends its data online to a secure Tier-1 EVault data centre. Simmons has more than 320GB worth of restorable data. When compressed it takes up approximately 25GB of space in the backup vault.

“With our previous backup service that transferred data to tape, we had to take systems offline, which impacted production as we operate in four different time zones,” said Tomczak. “With EVault, not only are we getting a superior backup solution that doesn’t take our systems offline, but we can get back up and running more quickly.”

Iron Mountain issued the following statement: 'The Blackouts of 2003 were caused by an unprecedented power grid failure that wiped out power and communications systems throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions of the US and Canada. All of our 15 off-site data protection facilities in these affected regions operated as expected, providing uninterrupted service to thousands of customers. While we regret this isolated incident that caused a several hour delay in service to Simmons Canada, we are proud of our overall response during the blackouts and of our longstanding track record for supporting our customers when they need us most.'