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9/24/2004
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Construction Company Builds Business Continuity

The plan will bring Ecker Enterprises' antiquated backup and recovery processes into the 21st century.

There are still companies out there that have yet to fix their business-continuity processes. That's changing at Ecker Enterprises Inc. Bill Polymenakos, technology director at the company, recently kicked off a six-month plan to ensure against disasters.

First up, Polymenakos will pick a business-continuity partner by month's end to help with education. "I'm looking for help convincing people that business continuity is not IT only," he says. "We need to get all the business-area leaders on board, and we'll keep hammering away at it." As he gets people on board, Polymenakos plans to create the infrastructure for a business-continuity process based on replicating data between two sites every five minutes.

Before Thanksgiving, he hopes to have multiprotocol switches from SBC Communications Inc. serving as the company's wide area network to support dedicated replication. Then, by April, Polymenakos and his one IT staff member will duplicate a storage network using a Stonefly Networks Inc.'s IP SAN system with backup and recovery and replication capabilities. They plan to replicate the storage network between the company's Chicago headquarters and its next-largest site in Las Vegas. "We could replicate all our data over to Vegas and run the whole company from there," Polymenakos predicts.

The new business-continuity platform will be a big improvement for the construction subcontractor. A few years ago, before Polymenakos joined Ecker, the company relied on non-IT people to handle backup and recovery, and company information was rarely ever completely backed up. Even now, Polymenakos says, nothing is documented and there are no processes in place to direct employees. In the event of a disaster, recovering systems would be quite cumbersome. Says Polymenakos, "Our business-continuity plans are very lean today, and we need to buckle down."

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