IT administrators there realized that it would take at least two full days to recover their data and systems from a collapse during a serious disaster. By applying EMC Symmetrix in conjunction with SunGard electronic vaulting services, FleetBoston's disaster recovery window shrank from 48 hours to less than an hour.
''We have achieved a recovery window of less than one hour on critical systems and four to eight hours for a complete recovery,'' says Lari Sue Taylor, senior vice president of technology at FirstBoston Financial.
FleetBoston Financial is a financial services company with assets of $196 billion, and over 18 million individual, corporate, and institutional customers. Products and services are available through a variety of channels, including 1,460 stores and more than 3,400 ATMs from Maine to Pennsylvania, its HomeLink online banking, and telephone banking. Fleet focuses mainly on small business and commercial banking in the Northeast U.S. market.
The bank now is in the process of merging with Bank of America.
A few years ago, when its ATM network had expanded significantly and online banking started to take off, management realized that disaster recovery needed a complete rethink. They used two key metrics in evaluating disaster recovery or business continuity planning:
FleetBoston chose what at that time was regarded as an aggressive RTO of 24 hours and an RPO of zero.
''We would suffer significant business impact from transaction loss,'' says Taylor. ''so we had no choice but to opt for the zero RPO.''
In support of this, she cites a Gartner Group study which revealed that 93 percent of companies which experience a major data loss go out of business within five years.