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HVB Group

Most IT managers would balk at the logistical challenge of transplanting their main backup site from one state to another. But the U.S. headquarters of German bank HVB Group has achieved just this, managing to overhaul its disaster recovery strategy without increasing its costs.

Speaking at an event in New York last week, Christopher Wrenn, HVB's COO, explained that back in 2003, the firm decided to revamp its disaster recovery plan. Until then, HVB had used a SunGard disaster recovery site in Long Island City in Queens, just three miles away from the firm's offices in Manhattan.

"Because we deemed that was too close to our primary location, we moved to a site that's further away," explained Wrenn. The firm eventually opted for another SunGard facility in Carlstadt, New Jersey, some 12 miles from its offices.

Deciding how close to locate disaster recovery sites is a major dilemma for IT managers, particularly after the events of 9/11, when a large part of downtown Manhattan was inaccessible. CIOs need to weigh the hassle of getting staff to the new location against the security of placing the disaster recovery site as far as possible from their offices.

"We did look at sites that were 100 miles away, but the logistics of getting there meant that this was a happy medium. This is easy enough to get to," explains Lisa Sciarrino, HVB's managing director.

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