Harris County Improves Disaster Recovery with Hyperconverged Infrastructure

HCI gave the Texas county government’s backup and recovery systems an edge when it mattered most.

Disaster can strike at any time. And for state and local agencies tasked with not just getting themselves back up and running, but also getting the general population back on its feet, having weeks or months of downtime simply is not an option.

For this reason, a strong disaster recovery plan underscored by supporting IT is a must-have for local governments. This is especially true for those in areas prone to natural disasters, such as Harris County, Texas, which bore the full brunt of Hurricane Harvey and is predicting another above-average hurricane season in 2018.

Alongside other IT upgrades that improved efficiencies and cut costs for Harris County, the county has employed a hyperconverged infrastructure, which gave it an edge during an emergency, when it counted most.

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HCI Helps Harris County Migrate Data More Quickly

When it upgraded to hyperconverged infrastructure, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office improved its disaster recovery.

Dell EMC hyperconverged appliances in the main data center replicate virtual machines and data to a duplicate set of HCI appliances at a backup data center in a colocation facility, says Rurik Wilmot, a senior network and systems administrator for the county.

When Hurricane Harvey began flooding downtown Houston and water climbed to 6 feet at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center, IT staff quickly moved operations to the secondary data center.

HCI appliances were protected because they were on the building’s sixth floor; however, the chillers started to go offline. With hyperconverged systems, the county's IT team was able to migrate data more quickly to backup systems.

“We failed over everything from the production site to the disaster recovery site, which was far easier to do with hyperconvergence than with traditional infrastructure,” Wilmot says. “It’s literally a handful of clicks.”

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May 14 2018