“I would recommend Cloud400™ for any user that needs Disaster Recovery (DR) or hosting of any OS400 application. It almost does not make sense to purchase an on-premise server.”
Vilden Associates, Inc. has provided information systems solutions to the transportation industry since 1979. The largest portion is ocean carriers.
More specifically, Vilden provides OS400-based hosted solutions to over 100 international clients so they can have their cargo approved by US Customs before it even gets loaded on ships bound for America. Even before cargo can be loaded on a container vessel, US Customs must receive a copy of the cargo manifest, approve it and transmit back a proof of acceptance. All of those container ships coming into the United States from all over the world bringing all of the imported products must have their shipping manifest blessed by US Customs. Considering the cost of a vessel in port at $50,000+ per day, clearly this is a time-sensitive, critical application because without that approval, the ship cannot load.
Critical Round The Clock Application Supported In Mobile, Alabama
Brian Bradley, Vilden’s Technical Director, explains, “Our production is located in Mobile, Alabama. We have an IBM POWER7 i 8202-E4B production server hosting over 100 clients, mostly overseas – mostly in Asia. Around the clock we receive cargo manifests that must be approved by US Customs before the cargo can be loaded on the boat.”
Disaster Recover (DR) Target Server In California
“Because this application is so critical – we cannot afford any downtime whatsoever – we had been replicating this system with Vision’s iTera to a 9406-520 located at our corporate offices in Signal Hill, California, near Long Beach.”
In August, 2012 Brian started to rethink his High Availability backup strategy.
9406-520 Target Server Upgrade Means Capital Investment
Brian explains, “I had two concerns. First, we figured our 9406-520 would have to be upgraded in about a year to newer technology. That would mean a capital investment for a new IBM POWER i.”
No Technical Staff For Target Server In California
“Second, we had no technical staff at our corporate location. If we ever did have to role swap to our target server, I did not feel comfortable that we had any one on hand that had OS400, application or networking expertise. In the event we really needed someone to get into a firewall or do something on the system, we would be kind of stuck, and that’s not where I wanted to be.”
Hosting Solution With Expertise Needed
That’s what prompted Brian to start exploring his options to find a hosting solution with OS400 and networking expertise.
“We were looking for somebody to host our target server or use shared resources someplace other than our corporate location. My main concern was I wanted to have technical people available in the event – it never has happened and hopefully it will never happen – that we need to rollover to our disaster site.”
Hosting Means NO Capital Expense
“In addition, we were interested in not having to make a purchase or lease payments for a new server. We figured we could save that money and roll it into a new agreement with whatever hosting company we went with.”
Most Hosting Options Lacked OS400 Expertise – Until Cloud400
Brian continues, “We first checked out hosting services. I recall these datacenters charged between $2000 to $4000 per month just to provide a rack for my IBM OS400 server. Some guys came in lower, but I could tell that they did not have an understanding of what an OS400 server even was. Maybe they could find some space in a rack and I could drop a system in there. But if I needed technical support, I did not get the warm and fuzzies that they would be able to really help. So, most of these options lacked the OS400 expertise we needed.”
Cloud400 Hosting Solution Has In-Depth OS400 Expertise AND iTera Expertise
“We also contacted several OS400 hosting locations. While a few had the OS400 expertise, it was not until we spoke to Cloud400 that we found a hosting solution that had iTera expertise. None of the hosting service providers we spoke to had experience with iTera.”
Cloud400 53% Less Expensive Than Other Hosting Solutions
“Better still, Cloud400 was 53% less expensive than these other OS400 hosting solutions. A big savings.
“I could tell from talking to the Cloud400 team that they were very knowledgeable of OS400, hosting, iTera replication and had network expertise.”
Critical VPN Connection With US Customs
“Network expertise is critical to us because we must link to US Customs to provide our clients with the manifest approval. One of our requirements from day one was to get a VPN to connect to US Customs – that’s our lifeline for getting our ships’ manifests on file with US Customs. Without that link to Customs, that disaster site does not work for us.
Cloud400 No Risk Free Trial
“We liked the Cloud400 free trial because it takes most of the risk out for us to move forward.”
Free Test Cloud400 – Even With iTera
“We did not need to send a tape to start testing Cloud400. Instead, we used iTera to replicate our system to the Cloud400 LPAR “virtual server.” It took about a week for Cloud400 to have a complete copy of our system.”
Cloud400 Team Very Knowledgeable
“The Cloud400 team was great. They are knowledgeable. Easy to get a hold of. The team has been available when I call or email. It’s been a great group to work with. We got the bulk of the testing completed pretty quickly – about 2 weeks.”
Cloud400 Security Level
“We feel very comfortable with the level of Cloud400 security with the combination of IBM PowerVM, VPN encryption, limited IP address access and OS400 security, such as user profile and password.”
The Future Of OS400 Computing Is Going To Cloud
“I have no doubt in my mind that the future of OS400 computing is going to the cloud. Those of us who know the system know that IBM OS400 is great for business applications but we are running out of expertise in the field. So I know it will be concentrated in certain areas. I think it will probably be just a bunch of big servers and LPARs and those who know will run them. This is kind of what we are doing now. We have consolidated customers that used to have their own on-premise servers and now we are hosting their systems or sharing LPARs of our system.”
Our Customers Also Need Cloud400
“We still have customers who have on-premise servers that do not have a DR solution. They have a need for Cloud400. We also know of users in the Mobile area that have their own systems; when it comes time to upgrade or get a new system, it may make sense to consider Cloud400.”
“I would recommend Cloud400. In fact, we will bring more business to Cloud400. For any user that needs Disaster Recovery (DR) or hosting of any OS400 application, it almost does not make sense to purchase an on-premise server unless you must have the system on site for some reason.”