Sage Manufacturing specializes in exceptional fly fishing equipment, including rods and reels, apparel, luggage, and accessories. The manufacturer, located in Bainbridge Island, Washington, has been in operation since 1980, during which time it has grown from six employees to over 175 employees. Sage’s products are sold in thirty countries by a network of 450 authorized dealers.

Sage wanted to establish a disaster recovery solution for its entire IT platform, in addition to a testing environment for its Oracle E-business Suite R12 applications. However, the manufacturer’s IT budget did not include the cost of adding additional machines to Sage’s existing in-house infrastructure.

Sage’s Director of IT, Larry Barrett, says that his department explored the possibility of placing servers in colocation facilities, but “hardware costs, even using managed hosting environments, prevented us from establishing a remote location in the past.”

To overcome the limitations of its local infrastructure, Sage called upon database administration providers Blue Gecko, who suggested creating both the disaster recovery and testing environment in the AWS Cloud.

Blue Gecko crafted a comprehensive disaster recovery environment by connecting Sage’s local production infrastructure to AWS with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC). Sage runs Oracle Enterprise Linux on two large Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and utilizes multiple Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes for database storage.

To instantiate the standby database, Blue Gecko configured Oracle Data Guard to ship archived redologs to the DR database host, and then used AWS Import/Export to quickly ship a full backup of the production database to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Blue Gecko created the standby from Amazon S3, and Data Guard applied the archived redologs to bring the standby continually current with production. Blue Gecko synchronized the application filesystem to Amazon EC2 using the Linux rsync utility.

Blue Gecko created an Oracle application development and test environment in the AWS Cloud that provides a pay-as-you-go model with on-demand infrastructure flexibility and elasticity. "In the past, spinning up a test environment would consist of procuring new hardware and turning it on," Barrett says. "This would typically take about a month from the word go to bring the hardware in and set it up. Now it takes about 12 hours.”

“The primary benefit we see in using AWS is that we don’t have to manage any of the disaster recovery or backups of the system," Barrett says, "because AWS manages the delivery of reliable infrastructure and highly durable storage.” This time savings translates to approximately 40 hours per year for the Sage IT team.

Blue Gecko is confident that this AWS-based solution complements Sage’s existing IT environment and its business goals. Chuck Edwards, Blue Gecko’s president, says, “AWS provides a wide array of loosely-coupled, robust tools that allowed us to fine-tune a solid disaster recovery capability and development and test environment for Sage. We didn’t encounter any roadblocks based on cost, functionality, or performance; we moved forward quickly and well within Sage’s budget.”

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