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Praetorian Financial Enhances Data Protection with EMC and VMware


Leading Specialty Insurer Deploys EMC Recovery Management and VMware Infrastructure Virtualization Software to Shrink Recovery Windows From Weeks to 24 Hours and Earns a 600% ROI in Four Months

Hopkinton, Mass.-Monday, January 22, 2007, EMC Corporation, the world leader in information management and storage, today announced that Praetorian Financial Group, a leading national specialty insurance provider, has improved the speed of application recovery, decreased tape backup windows, generated significant cost saving, and massively consolidated its server environment using EMC® recovery management and VMware® Infrastructure.

Michael Anselmo, Chief Information Officer at Praetorian, said, “Our business has grown very significantly in recent years due to a core expansion strategy. Our former patchwork of disparate servers and storage in our branch and agent offices in all 50 states was beginning to constrain our strategic growth objectives. We soon realized we needed a consolidated and centralized infrastructure that would deliver better business continuity, compliance with state regulations governing data protection, and cost savings. We found all this and more by implementing a solution from EMC and VMware that provided comprehensive data protection and recovery management.”

Today, Praetorian uses VMware Infrastructure to allow multiple instances of the Microsoft Windows 2003 operating system in VMware virtual machines to run on a single physical server. These instances, which run Praetorian’s Citrix, Microsoft Exchange, underwriting and claims, and other applications, are stored on an EMC CLARiiON® storage area network (SAN). For protection, EMC RepliStor® software provides continuous replication of the virtual machines from Praetorian’s production data center in New York City to a remote site 30 miles away.

“We’ve made major strides in improving the availability of our critical applications,” explained Anselmo. “Before, when tape backup was our primary data protection solution, we endured days or even weeks to re-build our physical servers and recover our applications. With EMC RepliStor capturing changes on a continuous basis, we now can fire up our VMware virtual machines at the remote site for full recovery of our most critical business applications within 24 hours, and with no more than 15 minutes of data loss exposure. RepliStor works seamlessly with VMware Infrastructure, providing a truly integrated, cost-effective, and airtight solution for recovery management.”

As further protection, Praetorian uses EMC NetWorker™ software to back up all of its virtual machine images and data files residing on CLARiiON storage to tape. The company also uses NetWorker to back up files from EMC Celerra® network-attached storage to tape, with Celerra Replicator software replicating the Celerra files to the remote site.

Ismaeel (Izzy) Abdur-Rasheed, Praetorian’s Vice President of Infrastructure and Operations, said, “EMC NetWorker provides us with central, automated backup of all our applications, very quickly and easily. Speed is important because as our data continues to grow, NetWorker allows us to keep our backup windows under control, so they don’t cut into the production day.”

Praetorian also has been able to improve disaster recovery efficiency and eliminate hardware dependencies through virtualization with VMware Infrastructure. By running multiple guest operating systems on a single Dell server with VMware Infrastructure, Praetorian has consolidated 52 physical servers in its legacy infrastructure to just nine servers today running approximately 90 virtual machines.

“Our dramatic server consolidation with VMware Infrastructure has contributed to a more cost-effective business continuity environment,” explained Abdur-Rasheed. “For one, a minimal number of physical servers are required to be on standby at the remote site. Plus, a smaller overall server infrastructure also has made the environment more reliable and easier to manage and protect.”

Anselmo added, “The savings from our server consolidation have benefited not only our business continuity environment, but the entire IT infrastructure. In addition to reducing the number of servers, we’re getting more out of each server by increasing our utilization of each physical server from 8-10 percent to 80 percent. That’s how we’ve been able to reduce our TCO (total cost of ownership) by almost 50 percent. Plus, we calculated an ROI of nearly 600 percent, which we achieved in just four months. Savings like these allow us to focus our IT staff on recovery management and other strategic initiatives that help build the business.”

About EMC

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world leader in products, services and solutions for information management and storage that help organizations extract the maximum value from their information, at the lowest total cost, across every point in the information lifecycle. Information about EMC’s products and services can be found at
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EMC, Celerra, CLARiiON, and RepliStor are registered trademarks, and NetWorker is a trademark of EMC Corporation. VMware is a registered trademark of VMware, Inc., an EMC company. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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