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06/25/2003 - IT-Lifeline Joins Terabyte Triangle


After more than two years of incubation and managed growth, IT-Lifeline, Inc. has joined the Terabyte Triangle. “Starting this business has been like running a marathon,” says Steven Tabacek, IT-Lifeline, President and marathon runner. According to Tabacek, it’s been like a marathon because progress was not measurable in the short term, there was a great deal of patience, pain, and tolerance, and there were not many people that believed it could be done in today’s economy. IT-Lifeline now has solid financial backing, multiple anchor customers, and a very cool office in Suite 224, near ILF Media, in the Steam Plant Square.

IT-Lifeline does outsourced data management, data backup, and data recovery services. This means they take care of and store your data in off-site locations and can recover any amount of data lost through a natural disaster or the push of a wrong button. In order to do that, they are very dependent on infrastructure -- like that found in the Terabyte Triangle. “We are going to move incredible amounts of data on a daily basis,” says Tabacek, “literally terabytes per night.” “Spokane has an excellent Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) that is key to customers and keeps the costs down,” says Tabacek. Steam Plant Square has the necessary connectivity, a centralized data center, and co-location facility. IT-Lifeline’s ‘Fortune 100’ technologies are co-located in the Contineo managed, Avista built co-location center in Steam Plant Square.

IT-Lifeline’s customers include small banks, credit unions, and health care facilities. The customers range from those with one server in one location to those with a hundred servers that span the West Coast. The customer’s server automatically backs up the data over secure high-speed communications to the IT-Lifeline data center. The connection can be point-to-point, or through a secure VPN tunnel over the Internet. The data, in turn, are managed and processed using a predefined customer storage management policy, and then are stored on multiple levels of disk and tape storage pools. The customers’ data are available for restoration from three sources, disk, on-site tape library, and off-site tape media. IT-Lifeline has partnered with Iron Mountain Data Protection to retain an additional disaster-recovery copy of all corporate/customer data. When recovery is necessary, IT-Lifeline can either perform the recovery or assist the customer with recovery. “We have hands-on experience recovering data from a full range of disasters that include an immediate restore of a critical file on a laptop, to a complete data center recovery effort at a predefined disaster recovery hot-site,” says Tabacek.

To do all this, IT-Lifeline has four racks of equipment and two large tape library frames. They use IBM midrange servers, storage and tape library. Complimenting the core infrastructure is an array of UNIX and Microsoft support systems. “We provide the customer better technology and better solutions at a lower cost than they can do it themselves,” says Tabacek. Fees are based on managed cost per gigabyte.

Factors that contribute to the collection and storage of large amounts of data include regulatory compliance such as HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and more recently, Homeland Security. “We leverage our experience and technology to help companies manage their data and information technology systems,” Tabacek. “It is important for a company to know how much data they have, the criticality of that data, and the regulatory compliance required for their industry.” Proper storage management helps a company not waste money on technology that they don’t need. “We go way beyond mere rotation of tape,” says Tabacek.

Tabacek has over seventeen years of relevant technology and corporate experience. “This experience has given the mentality required to manage critical data for customers,” says Tabacek. “Our approach is good documentation, sound policies, and auditable procedures.” “A trusted friend, Mike Armstrong, CFO, Northwest Farm credit Services, once told me ‘Customers don’t mind knowing that you’re making a profit as long as the solution that they are paying for is done better and is less expensive than they can do it themselves.’” IT-Lifeline plans to open a second branch in the Seattle/Portland corridor within 18 months.

IT-Lifeline has done extensive disaster recovery simulation tests at disaster recovery centers in New York City, and Denver. According to Tabacek, if you don’t want to take the time or spend a lot of money -- just want to know that the data is protected and recoverable -- use IT-Lifeline.

For more information about IT-Lifeline, go to: http://www.IT-Lifeline.com/index.html.

Billie Moreland
 
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