DataMail – An IT Disaster Recovery Case Study



As DataMail’s business grew with an expanded customer base, their IT infrastructure started to take on a more critical role in the organization. DataMail wanted to improve their IT disaster recovery capabilities to support their customers and protect critical IT processes. Their first step was to move their servers to separate SAS 70 certified, managed data centers. This allowed them to have data replication across two separate locations with different power and network feeds to protect against power or network outages, and meet the security standards for their clients who serve the financial industry.



“We had to find a company that we could rely on. That’s where Online Tech fits in,” says William Hayden, DataMail’s President and CEO. “We could have never done this on our own. For the past 7 years, we have been able to leverage Online Tech’s separate facilities and services at a very reasonable cost.”

With the help of Online Tech, DataMail designed an IT disaster recovery system capable of automatic recovery to a separate data center in less than 60 seconds. DataMail is hosting their customer-facing systems at Online Tech’s Mid-Michigan Data Center and running their disaster recovery servers in the Ann Arbor, Michigan data center 53 miles away. The data are replicated between the data centers using Double-Take Software’s Double-Take® Availability solution, which provides high availability and failover for physical and virtual servers.

Online Tech provides automatic IP failover that allows the IP addresses of the hosted system to migrate to the second data center should the server or connection to the primary data center fail. Because Online Tech’s data centers are interconnected with Gigabit fiber, the failover is nearly instantaneous and does not require DNS reassignment.

“We originally selected Online Tech in 2003 for our customer-facing production servers,” says David Sikina, Director of IT for DataMail Services. “Since that time, we have had a very positive, long term partnership. Online Tech’s second data center offers excellent geographic separation, power from a different grid, and near-instant network failover. Online Tech meets all of our requirements for our disaster recovery plan.” “Since we work with financial institutions’ data and records we need to host our servers in SAS 70 certified data centers. Our auditors took a detailed look at Online Tech’s SAS 70 audit report and found that Online Tech met every one of our data security and data center management processes,” notes Sikina.

SAS 70 is a nationally recognized audit standard for evaluating the process and security control procedures across the data center that is required by Sarbanes-Oxley. The SAS 70 designation demonstrates that the data center has the proper controls and procedures around physical and network security, environmental controls, system availability and performance and those controls have been followed consistently over time.


DataMail is a full service statement processing company servicing over 250 credit unions across the country. They provide traditional printed statements and electronic document delivery, presentation and archiving for financial institutions. DataMail helps their business partners reduce their costs and improve their marketing methodologies while taking advantage of new technologies and services.

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