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Electric Lobby Turns On Failover

When your business is lobbying, constant access to email is critical.

That realization prompted Washington-based Edison Electric Institute, an advocacy group for electric companies, to put an automated, high-availability system in place for Exchange. Lead network engineer Rick Williams says that decision saved him a major headache soon after implementation.

"Email is extremely critical to the type of late night, after-hours work we do," says Rick Williams, lead network engineer. "We have a hard time performing our core business without email."

That core business consists of providing analysis and other information for shareholders of electric utilities around the world. EEI analysts constantly share information with other members of the organization, Congress, government agencies, and financial firms.

Until last year, EEI was mirroring Exchange servers between Xiotech Magnitude 3D SANs at the organization's Washington headquarters and a disaster recovery site about 25 miles away in Dulles, Va. "That allows you to recover and get back up if there's a problem, but it's by no means a quick thing," he says. "It takes a while to reposition servers. It's time-consuming, and takes from around four to eight hours to recover."

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