In an interview with CIO Applications, Don Gulling, President, shares insights on how Verteks Consulting provides secure and reliable IT solutions and the value addition they bring to the client.
What role does Verteks Consulting play in the Business Continuity arena?
We have enhanced and improved our abilities and experience so that we can provide clients custom-designed solutions. We design customized continuity solutions that include disaster recovery and business continuity plans and training so that IT teams and business leaders can have complete confidence in their ability to maintain IT operations, or recover rapidly if needed.
On the challenges faced by CIOs of companies in the Business Continuity space.
While businesses have different needs and capabilities, we see two common challenges with most clients. One is the gap between what stakeholders expect, and what is delivered by IT and the second is the lack of a plan with enough information to allow the IT team to manage a disaster, or restore from an outage. Our business continuity system’s discovery, design and implementation processes result in a solution that both business and IT leaders can have confidence in. After we install a new system, everyone in the business will have the same expectations, and the IT team will be able to restore data and systems quickly when needed.
"Verteks provides instant on- and off-site virtualization and screenshot backup verification, serving the needs of SMBs through Datto." Elaborate on this statement.
Datto Instant Virtualization allows a protected system to be virtualized and hosted either locally on a Datto BDR appliance (SIRIS), or remotely in the secure Datto Cloud (SIRIS and ALTO) in seconds. Regardless if the recovery point is months or even years old, Datto’s DRaaS solutions end the long recovery time windows caused from reconstructing backups on disk or restoring from magnetic tape. Datto’s patented Screenshot Backup Verification, and new Advanced Screenshot Verification ensures businesses have the most comprehensive backup monitoring available.
Verteks follows a six-step process—Discover, Design, Implement, Document, Train and Test—to ensure our clients have a solution that meets their needs
Verteks follows a six-step process—Discover, Design, Implement, Document, Train and Test—to ensure our clients have a solution that meets their needs. During the discovery phase, we assess and document the client’s IT environment including servers, storage and networking. In the design phase, we design a business continuity system that meets or exceeds the RPO and RTO requirements which also includes planning for retention of enough backups to meet regulatory and compliance requirements.
During the implementation, we install the hardware and software and configure the backup agents, appliance, and ‘snapshot’ intervals to meet the objectives. We then document the system, which includes detailed disaster recovery, and business continuity plans covering server boot order, applications or networking, and recover files, folders, SQL databases or tables.
In the training phase, we train designated staff on the ways to recover files, folders and complete systems as well as add and remove new servers from the system to keep the continuity solution 100 percent effective as the business changes. In the Test phase, we simulate failures and conduct full recoveries with the IT team in real-world conditions.
Explain the benefits of Datto for a potential client.
A client was struck by a ransomware attack that was initiated by a user clicking on a link in a phishing email which encrypted the PCs data and spread to a server before it was caught. Since the customer had a Datto, we could restore the files quickly. The customer’s Datto was configured to take snapshots every 15 minutes, and because of the style of the ransomware attack, the client did not realize it was encrypted for about an hour. Using Datto’s technology, we were able to ‘turn back the clock’ to a time when the data was not encrypted on a prior snapshot, restore the files, and have the business operating at 100 percent within an hour.
On the distinct features of the firm that give it a competitive edge.
Our company’s culture. The way our team embodies our core values every day. Our core values are Reliability, Responsiveness, Empathy, Assurance and Readiness. We are a large group of veteran members that have been with the company for more than ten years, with several over 15 years of service—these long-term team members continually set the standard, ensuring our values stay strong.
On the trends in the Business Continuity arena.
Some of the most significant trends we see in IT are the advancement in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics. When it comes to business continuity, these trends will require us to continually evaluate and adapt so that our client’s IT systems and data continue to be protected. Verteks is evolving by continually updating training, and enhancing processes, procedures, and controls so that the systems designed and implemented will protect a client’s vital IT systems and data both now and in the future.
What does the future hold for your organization?
We are planning to increase the size of our network operations center and headquarters in Ocala, and we have a search underway for a more extensive facility to meet our future growth needs. We are also rapidly expanding our ability to provide managed IT security in addition to managed business continuity so that we can protect our clients’ IT systems and data from evolving threats.