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Treetops Hospice – Disaster Recovery Planning

Company Background

Treetops Hospice provides respite and palliative care for adults with illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis. It also provides help and support to their carers and families.

As one of Nottinghamshire’s leading charities, Treetops have multiple local charity shops, a newly developed dedicated bereavement centre and provide the ability for their nurses to deliver their services to patients at home.

The challenge

As companies become more and more aware of the dangers of online threats and the importance of protecting data from the unpredictable nature of disasters, ensuring that your IT investment and company data is protected by a thorough disaster recovery plan is paramount. As with many businesses, Treetops have increased their reliance on an IT infrastructure drastically over the last 5 years. They are one of millions of organisations that rely heavily on the day to day working of their computers and any disruption to this would be catastrophic to the organisation and its ability to function correctly.

Recognising this, Treetops and Pyranet collaborated on a project to enhance Treetops’ existing disaster recovery plan and ensure that in the event of a fire, flood, theft, hardware failure or any other disruption the systems are restored quickly and efficiently keeping downtime to an absolute minimum.

The approach

By establishing where the existing disaster recovery plan performed well, we were able to look at areas that needed development. We carried out a full disaster recovery diagnosis and this gave us the foundation to build a solid structure that ensured continuity and protection for both the hardware and software that the company relies heavily on.

We began by incorporating a high available server solution meaning that in the event of a failure of one of the physical servers, the second server took over and carried out the main rolls. This helped with the hardware failure aspect and reduced reliance on a single physical server. Alongside this, other hardware elements have been given resiliency including the router, switches and the broadband line itself removing all major single points of failure.

To ensure the data backup is stored safely and has the ability to be used effectively, our best practice is to ensure that backups are done on a continuous basis (not just once a night) and stored to an offsite location should an entire site disaster occur. By utilising a second site, we are able to ensure that the reliance on an individual person changing a backup disk or drive is entirely removed along with the perels of this such as forgetting to swap the backup media and the data can still be obtained quickly and reliably. It also means that the data we would restore from is as up to date as the data on the server right before the disaster, not hours or even days old.

The outcome

Thankfully, we haven’t had to utilise the backup facility as a whole yet however it is tested on a regular basis as part of the service provided by Pyranet to Treetops Hospice. Treetops are confident that in the event of a disaster their data is not only safe but also available to restore from straight away.