Figure 1. Richard Spurlock, Cobalt Iron (left) and Travis Cooper, Capital City Bank at IBM InterConnect2015
Regulated businesses face restrictions on cloud adoption. Data security and privacy concerns keep sensitive data in company-owned, secure data centers. So, I was surprised to see how banks and other regulated businesses can take advantage of the cloud, at the IBM InterConnect2015 conference last week in Las Vegas.
On Monday, Heather Cox from Citi showed a creative mobile app that integrates APIs from Citi, Google, and Yelp. Now, any application developer can build banking services into an application, without having to understand the banking business. Heather’s keynote is available for viewing on InterConnectGO.
On Wednesday, Travis Cooper, VP and IT Manager of Capital City Bank in Kansas, USA, presented a data backup solution that uses a managed private cloud design and cloud-based services. This blog is about the solution at Capital City Bank.
Capital City Bank is a respected community bank with a small IT department. Like many mid-size organizations, Capital City Bank had an adequate data protection system, but it wasn’t fast or flexible. An expensive upgrade was recommended to get ready for VMware workloads. Travis looked for alternatives and selected a private cloud solution from Cobalt Iron, also based in Kansas. The solution stores business data in secure Capital City Bank data centers and recovery sites, not in a public cloud. That keeps the auditors happy.
Capital City Bank no longer has to maintain a backup infrastructure. Travis said, “We have eliminated about 80% of the time we previously spent managing our backup solution since deploying Cobalt Iron". Cobalt Iron eliminates a lot of worry by making sure the backup servers are healthy, dealing with component failures, ensuring data recoverability, and taking care of updates and patches for backup systems. The new solution meets the demands of growing VMware workloads easily. Service levels are easy to define and update. A potentially ugly upgrade project was avoided. All these benefits make Travis happy.
Richard Spurlock, CEO of Cobalt Iron, described the solution in more detail. Clients use a dashboard, called Cobalt Iron Mosaic, which provides a clear overview of the existing environment and status. Mosaic uses analytics to help clients understand the priority issues, if any, and includes an easy self-service interface. The solution also includes backup appliances, called Cobalt Iron Vaults, installed in Capital City Bank facilities and maintained by Cobalt Iron. Service levels are maintained using Cobalt Iron Guard, an interface for monitoring, alerting, reporting, upgrades, ticketing; and Best Practices developed over years of data protection experience.
The Cobalt Iron backup cloud service for Capital City Bank uses IBM Spectrum Protect (Tivoli Storage Manager) software. Spectrum Protect is a trusted data protection platform, recognized for enterprise class features, scalability and code quality. Spectrum Protect enables public, private and hybrid cloud configurations.
Richard Spurlock said it’s a myth that mid-size organizations don’t need advanced, enterprise-grade data protection. He argues that mid-size organizations have more intimate client relationships than large enterprises, so their data availability is just as important. Richard said he likes Spectrum Protect because it provides the foundation for data protection that can be delivered at any level and any scale.
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About the Author
Mike Barton is a Worldwide Storage Marketing Manager at IBM. Prior to 2007, Mike was a Technical Manager and Principal IT Specialist for IBM, and a Sales Rep and Principal IT Specialist for Sybase. He holds ITIL Foundation and Gartner Group TCO Certifications. Mike has been with IBM over 15 years and has over 25 years of Information Technology experience. The opinions expressed herein are his own.