Farys fixes leaks in disaster recovery plan

As an essential service provider, Farys must meet strict cybersecurity requirements imposed by the government. To make their Disaster Recovery Plan foolproof and ensure that their services are never compromised, they enlisted the help of Xylos.

The customer | Farys

Farys is one of six organizations in Belgium responsible for the distribution, transport, and treatment of drinking water. They also operate a large number of sports infrastructures, including swimming pools.

The challenge | Extra protection against cyber attacks

Farys provides an essential service that is very important to society. Without drinking water, electricity or hospitals, we would be in bad shape. So the government decided that these suppliers should install extra protection against potential cyber attacks. A robust Disaster Recovery Plan was in order.

The process | HPE Rack servers with Cohesity software

A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) provides a clear description of what should happen in the event of an emergency at Farys, such as a fire or flood. Thanks to the DRP, they have a fallback option, and no one will run out of drinking water.

Xylos analyzed the situation at Farys and concluded that up to 10 days of data could potentially be lost in the event of a disaster.

For Jeroen Van Praet, ICT Coordinator at Farys, that was unacceptable: “There are about a thousand employees at Farys. If you convert that into hours, you get an immense volume of data. So we had to reduce those 10 days to a few hours or even seconds.”

The Xylos experts proposed a disk-based solution that eliminates the manual work of moving tapes in and out of the library. We also worked with traditional X86 rack servers from HPE running on a software solution from Cohesity. These can be easily managed by the customer through a web interface.

“As soon as a backup starts, it is replicated to a second Cohesity node,” explains Jeroen. “That way, instead of having 10 days of data loss, we only have a few seconds from the time the backup starts. Quite a leap forward.”

Another benefit is that the rack servers are much easier to maintain. There are fewer components to manage or things to go wrong.

The result | Backups run smoothly

For Jeroen Van Praet, the project was a success: “We actually already have a lot of confidence that everything is running by itself. And if there is a problem, we get the necessary notifications.”

Tom Willems, Chief Information Security Officer at Farys, confirms, “We can do more in parallel: take more backups and run restores if there is a problem. We are definitely better off than before.”

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