Blog: All Things Nortec

Association’s Server Fails: Cloud Recovery Resumes Operations In Record Time

Background

NPES, the Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies, is a trade association of over 600 companies which manufacture and distribute equipment, systems, software, supplies used in printing, publishing and converting.

The Association was founded as the National Printing Equipment Association in 1933. Today, the Association represents manufacturers, importers and distributors of equipment, supplies, systems and software used in every printing, publishing and converting process from design to distribution. NPES offers its members a wide range of services including: informational publications, statistical, safety, market research, and education programs, government affairs representation, safety and technical standards development coordination in the national and international arenas, and international trade assistance.

The Challenge

NPES has been a Nortec customer since 1986.  The association is housed in one location in Reston, VA, has 26 employees, a few of whom are remote.

Jesus Romero, Database and Technology Director, had been contemplating moving infrastructure and services to the cloud.  Of primary concern were backups and recovery, which were a mix of both online, and legacy on-premises technologies. Also of high concern were on-premises hardware approaching end-of-life and running non-supported operating systems.

Nortec assessed the situation and decided to onboard NPES to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.  Site to site connectivity was implemented and on-premises infrastructure – including Active Directory and File Services – were lifted and shifted to Azure IaaS virtual machines.  Inbuilt snapshotting technology was leveraged to backup entire virtual machines, as well as file-level recovery utilizing Azure backup.

When the organization experienced server failures in April, Nortec could shift business operations to the pre-staged Azure infrastructure by performing the recovery to the cloud platform.

Additional complications around account compromise and ransomware attacks led to Nortec having to once again exercise the cloud-powered disaster recovery plan.  The agility of the Azure cloud platform, coupled with Nortec’s expertise and responsiveness, enabled NPES to quickly resume business operations.

The Solution

Jesus Romero was relieved.  “It was all very efficient. It took Nortec no time at all to do this.”  Nortec was able to restore the servers in less than half a day and now Romero not only had a long-term project off his plate, he had a bulletproof back-up and recovery plan.

The Benefit

As Database and Technology Director, Jesus Romero must interview new IT support vendors every year to make sure he’s getting the best service and price.

So every year, Romero brings in several network vendors for review.  During this process and several weeks prior to the server issues, another vendor surmised that if Nortec had to restore the service, it would take them at least a week.

“Nortec restored our servers in half a day. If I had not made that decision to go with Nortec, it could have been a week with the other vendor. It made me feel very strong about my level of confidence in Nortec and our disaster plan,” says Romero.