Denali Credit Union Improves Disaster Recovery Strategy with Dell Compellent and Silver Peak

Silver Peak Software Enables 10-Times More Data to be Replicated over Distance in Half the Time

SANTA CLARA, Calif., October 3, 2012 —A disaster recovery (DR) plan is always important, but for a financial institution in a location known for earthquakes and where more than 18 feet of snow can bury a whole town, a strong DR and business continuity strategy is a necessity.

For Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union (Denali) to expand its online banking services, enhancing its business continuity plan was a requirement. However, Denali’s wide area network (WAN) was insufficient for moving large amounts of data between the company’s main site in Anchorage and the DR facility in Fairbanks. It was taking over 11 hours to replicate more than 50 gigabytes (GB) of data over the WAN —far too long for Denali’s IT team.  Adding additional DR features with up to ten-times the data of the existing system would be impossible.

Denali’s IT team addressed part of the problem by storing the online banking system on Dell Compellent arrays, but a solution was needed to overcome the WAN bottleneck. Dell recommended Silver Peak, Dell’s preferred partner for WAN optimization. The Silver Peak software deployed in minutes and automatically compensated for network limitations, accelerating the movement of large amounts of data over long distances.  The IT staff saw Dell Compellent replication bandwidth reduced by over 66 percent, with a 10-fold increase in replication throughput.

“Silver Peak’s software is really simple to setup,” says Travis Rupp, associate vice president of project management in IT for Denali. “We met our recovery point objectives (RPO) without doing any special tweaks to the network or data sets, which really makes Silver Peak stand out from the competition.”

Denali’s primary challenge involved replicating the company’s core banking application. With over 50 GB of data, it was consuming most of the company’s three megabit-per-second (Mbps) WAN and taking over 11 hours—three hours too long for Rupp and his team. There was no way they could also replicate several hundred gigabytes of data for the online banking system and still meet an eight hour RPO.

For Denali, buying additional bandwidth was not a viable option. Bandwidth pricing in Anchorage is high in part because of the limited competition, says Rupp who was already spending $350 a month on a three Mbps connection.  In fact, Anchorage has the highest bandwidth prices of any US city at $65.50 per Mbps, according to .

Despite the efficiencies of Dell’s replication solution, Denali Alaskan was still missing its RPO due to network conditions. Rupp and team knew they needed an affordable, easily deployable solution to solve these network challenges, and thus shorten replication times. With Dell’s recommendation, Rupp and team chose to test Silver Peak, Dell’s preferred partner for WAN optimization.

“Ease of deployment really made Silver Peak stand out from Riverbed and the competition,” adds Rupp. “For Silver Peak’s software to be up and running the day after we spoke with [the Silver Peak team], with quantitative data to prove the solution worked, was one of the biggest selling points.”

Additional Resources

About Silver Peak Systems
Silver Peak software accelerates data between data centers, branch offices and the cloud.  The company’s software-defined acceleration solves network quality, capacity and distance challenges to provide fast and reliable access to data anywhere in the world.  Leveraging its leadership in data center class wide area network (WAN) optimization, Silver Peak is a key enabler for strategic IT projects like virtualization, big data and disaster recovery.  Download Silver Peak software today at .