Case Studies > Cornerstone Real Estate Team

Disaster Recovery

Document ID: UNIDEN-P6MK-3FK2-LA4J

The Background

The CornerStone Real Estate Team has been managing real estate in Colorado Springs, Colorado since 2005. They are focused on property management; with over 340 units managed in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas. CornerStone Real Estate Team consistently maintains vacancy rates less than 5%. They also manage single family homes, multi-family properties (duplexes, four-plexes, etc) and apartment complexes. Their property managers are all licensed real estate brokers and ready to manage customers property as if it were their very own: low vacancy rate, disciplined rent collection, minimized expenses, current technology. They are veteran-owned and operated, with over 110 years of combined military service.

CornerStone Real Estate Team employed UnidenHosting to move from an antiquated, poorly located disaster recovery solution to a local and modern DR implementation.

Prior To UnidenHosting: Ancient DR Infrastructure

Before adopting a UnidenHosting solution, CornerStone Real Estate Team utilized its own colocation facility for backup purposes, which leveraged a VMware ESX 3.5 virtual environment consisting of 40 virtual machines. The company’s colocation data center, located in Denver, Colorado, included physical servers as well. The colocation facility also housed its Exchange virtual environment, consisting of about 350 mailboxes in a clustered configuration.

Shortly after arriving at CornerStone Real Estate Team, Lance Kholer, owner and managing broker of CornerStone Real Estate Team came to recognize two serious pain points with this DR system: First was the fact that it was not very close to their main office in Colorado Springs – only 40 miles separated the two locations. Second, the hardware being utilized within the DR infrastructure was out of date and quickly approaching its end-of-life.

The distance between the Denver data center and the company’s Colorado Springs office was incredibly worrisome for Kholer, as any weather event that impacted its on-premise system in Colorado Springs would likely affect its backups at the colocation facility as well. Complicating the organization’s DR strategy was CornerStone Real Estate Team’s ownership of the hardware in the data center, which necessitated staying close to it to maintain it.

Even more worrisome was the aging machines being utilized, with the newest servers purchased in 2015, and the oldest from 2005.

“When I purchased this business 2015, our VMware style infrastructure was ancient,” Kholer said. “And there was no easy way to update it.” As a result, CornerStone Real Estate Team began looking at its disaster recovery alternatives, which is when Kholer discovered UnidenHosting.

The Solution

During its search for a new solution, Kholer noted that his company was looking for a seamless transition from its previous colocation approach to an arrangement where the vendor would maintain the hardware and CornerStone Real Estate Team would simply foot the bill. The organization was also looking to switch over to a Linux Hyper-V replication system for their DR needs.

“When I did some research, I didn't really find to much information about UnidenHosting but they were local and they owned their own datacenter. I couldn't argue with that. So I gave the sales line a call to talk about a tailored private Hyper-V cloud” Kholer said. “They answered every question in full. I knew these guys knew what they were talking about, so it seemed to be a good fit.”

UnidenHosting business development consultant Kevin McCabe learned of CornerStone Real Estate Team’s needs, and quickly determined UnidenHosting could provide a tailored, private DR solution that would enable it to use Hyper-V to replicate its important files to the provider’s infrastructure. This way, the organization could run Hyper-V on-premise, and backup its critical materials to UnidenHosting’s infrastructure at its data center in Colorado Springs.

“They really wanted to make sure they had something in place as a backup should their in-house infrastructure have any issues,” McCabe said. “Their office isn’t built like a data center, so there is a possibility of having issues with infrastructure on-site.”

The Benefits: Most Up-To-Date Save Point Possible

In the past, CornerStone Real Estate Team was in the habit of doing weekly backups of its important files and data, which were shipped off-site for DR. Kholer knew that this wasn’t sufficient.

“In the event of a disaster, I don’t want to have to roll back to data that’s a week old,” Kholer said. “I want something that’s as current as possible. And Hyper-V replica with UnidenHosting allows us to do that.”

Additionally, Kholer noted that since the company’s backups are now housed in UnidenHosting local Colorado Springs data center, he and the IT team no longer have to worry about driving to their Denver facility to maintain hardware. UnidenHosting takes care of all this for them.

While CornerStone Real Estate Team has not yet had to rely on its UnidenHosting tailored DR solution, McCabe – along with Sean Apodaca, UnidenHosting cloud project manager – agrees that the company is taking the correct approach to DR planning. They now have peace of mind because the solution will be there when they need it. “They’re doing things the right way,”McCabe said. “They know the importance of the [DR] solution, and they understand that it’s probably just going to sit there idle the majority of the time and not really be used, but should it need to be used, it’ll be worth it in the long run for them.”

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