Nesco Resource is one of the leading national staffing and employment agencies offering services in temporary staffing, direct hire, and a host of other staffing and recruiting solutions. Through its 100+ branches, the Cleveland, Ohio-based company has 60,000 people annually on its paycheck roster.
Preparing for Mother Nature
In the weeks leading up to Hurricane Irma in 2017, the Nesco Resource IT team heard the warnings and knew their Tampa data center was at risk. “The data center is only five miles from shore,” said IT Director Gerald Dalton, noting the area is prone to flooding, hurricanes, lightning strikes, and power outages. “We can easily be under water if a strong hurricane hits.”
Dalton knew they couldn’t withstand any downtime. “We do weekly and biweekly payrolls. It’s not an option to be offline,” he said. Because of this, they needed backup capabilities ready to take over at a moment’s notice.
A Disaster-Ready Infrastructure
Fortunately for Nesco Resource, Dalton was ahead of the game. Shortly after joining the company in 2010, he had recognized the need for backup capabilities in another geographic location. The company established a backup system in Winter Haven, Florida, and also implemented the Robot HA high availability solution for IBM i from Fortra. “We picked Robot HA because I had installed it for clients when I was consulting and had also used it at a previous company.”
When Hurricane Irma began making its way to Tampa, Dalton was ready. “We decided to do a full role swap to the facility in Winter Haven as a preemptive strike,” he said. “We also asked the Fortra staff to assist, which was a wise move. They took care of everything, and we were up and running quickly.”
Dalton’s trust in Robot HA is strong, which is important given the safety of more than one million records is at stake. “Robot HA is very flexible, and we love that it lets us define criticality across all our essential data,” he said. In fact, Nesco Resource journals highly critical items in real time, but the team may use intervals of minutes, hours, or even days for backing up lower-priority information. “It does a thorough check to make sure everything is in sync, and it automatically detects and fixes issues if something isn’t right. This keeps us up to date 24 hours a day on what’s going on.”
No Downtime for Business-Critical Systems
“We did lose power for two days in Tampa during the hurricane, so it was a smart move on our part to do the role swap,” Dalton said. “Robot HA and the Fortra support team made it seamless for us. Not only did they give us great service, but they also followed up to make sure things were stable. That means a lot to us IT guys.”
As a result of the experience, Dalton has decided to run operations from the Winter Haven location during hurricane season and flip back to Tampa during the rest of the year.
They are also prepared for the ongoing pace of growth the company has been experiencing. “Nesco Resource has doubled in size over the past eight years, and I expect it will double yet again in the next two to three. With Robot HA, we’re ready.”
Dalton is pleased with his Fortra experience. “I absolutely cannot say enough about Robot HA. No matter where I’ve installed or used it, it’s been a great product. I’m happy it’s under the Fortra umbrella.”
I absolutely cannot say enough about Robot HA. No matter where I’ve installed or used it, it’s been a great product. I’m happy it’s under the Fortra umbrella.
Gerald Dalton, IT Director, Nesco Resource