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What would your business do if all of its servers failed?

LVO-server-crash

You’ve all heard the terrifying stories of businesses suffering a server crash. You can picture that pit-of-the-stomach, sinking feeling when you can’t connect to the network. No emails. No database. No contacts.

“Um… is anyone else having network issues?”

Tumbleweed.

You call your IT support people – you’re feeling a little anxious now. They try a remote login. Nope. They come in to the office to take a look.

“Woah! I’ve never seen a double raid failure before.”

This is not looking good. In fact, it’s terrible. Your database and email exchange is gone. It’s the eponymous Norwegian Blue…

MONTY PYTHON DEAD PARROT SKETCH‘… This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! It’s a stiff, bereft of life... It rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies! It’s run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This. Is. An. Ex. Parrot!’

This is exactly what happened to LVO Architecture and Urban Design just after the Christmas break.


THE CRASH

The LVO team returned to work at their Queensland office on 10 January 2014 to discover a server crash. No access to Synergy and no emails.

LVO practice manager Donna Collins says they had a RAID 5 server set-up for Synergy and Exchange, something designed for redundancy in the event of a crash.

“We came in after Christmas to discover two drives had crashed… we lost a lot of data,” Donna says.

“Without Synergy we had no idea about the financial status of our projects. We simply couldn’t do anything…

"... we had no project information, couldn’t let project managers know the financial status of projects, had no access to contacts...


“January is a tough month for architectural practices in Australia and coming back from a break means there are quite a few pieces to pick up to get back on track.

“Synergy is also connected to MYOB which meant we couldn’t create or send project invoices. It was a disaster.”

So what did Donna do?

“One of the first things I did was call Synergy and ask if it was possible to get our database back up,” she says.

“We got a new server and within hours the Synergy support team had the software reloaded. By lunchtime the next day our data was reloaded and Synergy was fully functioning again.

“It was pure relief. Everyone could get back to work.”

THE COST

The big question is ‘what if…’? What if LVO hadn’t had Synergy backed-up in the cloud and access to disaster recovery?

“Ouch,” Donna says.

“We may have been able to get data back from data recovery. That has so far cost $5000 to get one email box [not all emails].

“To recover Synergy, if it could not have been recovered, would have cost another lot of money, plus we would potentially have been six weeks without project financials… we would have had little idea where we were with invoicing, no contact information, timesheets.

“[Sigh],” Donna says.

THE FEAR

Is this scenario as big and scary as it seems?

“Absolutely it is!” Donna says.

“I could have just kissed the [Synergy support] guys when they told me they could get it back… I thought: ‘OK, Synergy is fine, let’s get on with the next issue’.

“The alternative to cloud back-up is spending money on data recovery and crossing your fingers. [Synergy disaster recovery] is no extra cost, I can’t recommend it enough.

“We also have a tape back-up but there was a technical issue with getting the data off the tapes for some reason.

“The RAID 5 system was in place for a reason, but our IT guys said they’d never seen a double RAID system fail before.”

LVO quote

THE FUTURE

When asked if LVO was likely to move all its file servers up to the cloud in the future, Donna suggests it’s unlikely, but only due the size of the files architectural practices work with.

“It’s the nature of the beast,” she says.

“We’re looking forward to Synergy being fully cloud so we can move the whole practice across to Mac.

“I love the reporting, ability to see where we are with projects… and I think just the support on the software is 100 per cent. I’ve never had such good support with software.

“When it all went wrong, [the Synergy support] guys worked on it, followed up, kept me in the loop and got it up and running as soon as they could. I didn’t have to worry about it anymore, it was just taken care of.

“I don’t think the Synergy guys even blinked – just ‘yeah, ok’ and sorted it out. It was only a crisis in our office, the Synergy support guys were cool as cucumbers.”

Businesses build redundancy into systems to avoid catastrophic data loss. As LVO discovered, that doesn’t mean it’s fully reliable.

Whether you’re new to cloud or cloud savvy, it’s an opportunity to safeguard your business data and minimise risk. Can you afford to ignore that?


Follow these links to find out more about how Synergy can make your architectural, engineering or construction design business more efficient, effective and profitable:

Timesheets
Projects
Synergy Connect for accounts (inlcuding Xero and MYOB)
Synergy cloud and mobile services

OR

Contact us to find out more about disaster recovery

 Contact Total Synergy