Enterprise data is growing continually and many firms must retain data for decades for regulatory reasons. How could The Bunker offer clients secure long-term storage at a cost-effective price?
The Bunker uses IBM Cloud Object Storage to underpin an ultra-secure long-term archiving platform, housed in military-grade datacenters, offering a viable alternative to public cloud storage.
Easesregulatory compliance by storing all data in the UK
Reducesrisk for customers by ensuring they can access large volumes of data when needed
Cutscosts by reducing clients’ reliance on potentially expensive on-premises storage
Business challenge story
Solving the storage dilemma
Soaring data volumes and stricter regulations are converging to create a perfect storage storm—firms need to store more data, for longer periods, and do it all on a limited budget. To meet the challenge, many organizations have turned to public cloud storage, but for companies in more highly-regulated industries, including healthcare and financial services, this is often not an option for legal reasons.
Philip Bindley, Managing Director at The Bunker, explains: “About five years ago, the market became aware it had a huge problem in terms of data storage. The amount of data stored by companies was growing exponentially, and using traditional storage area networks to house it all was quickly becoming unsustainable.
“Many of our customers, such as those in financial services, healthcare, or the public sector, don’t have the luxury of turning to traditional public cloud storage. For legal or regulatory reasons, these customers have to keep customer data in the UK, often for up to 30 years. And once you rule out public cloud, there weren’t really any viable options aside from storing the data on expensive, on-premises storage.”
The Bunker recognized that there was a clear gap in the market for an alternative to public cloud storage—but to seize the opportunity it needed to find a way to deliver secure, compliant storage at a cost-effective price point.
It was while exploring alternative offerings that The Bunker first became aware of IBM Cloud Object Storage. Philip Bindley recalls: “When we were first exploring the market, we noticed IBM Cloud Object Storage was attracting a lot of attention and investment. Looking into the solution in more detail, we realized it was a really unique market proposition, in terms of storing large quantities of data in a very secure and available way.”
The Bunker, working with IBM Platinum Business Partner Tectrade, harnessed IBM Cloud Object Storage to underpin a new, ultra-secure deep archiving solution.
“Once we’d installed Cloud Object Storage, we subjected it to rigorous acceptance testing,” Philip Bindley continues. “In our contract, we stipulated that if the solution couldn’t pass these tests, we would return it. It sailed through the acceptance testing process, which gave us confidence we were on to something good.”
The solution works by distributing data between three of The Bunker’s facilities in the UK, helping to ensure data is protected even in in the most extreme circumstances.
“We have two nodes set up in former nuclear bunkers,” explains Philip Bindley. “One in Newbury, in Berkshire, and one in Sandwich, in Kent. Then we have a third site in Telehouse, North London. The three-site deployment really plays to the strengths of the IBM solution. With IBM Object Storage, we can effectively slice the data into separate pieces and disperse it across all of our datacenter locations. The data remains highly available and can be retrieved with a subset of slices, even if individual servers or entire sites go down. It’s allowed us to really future-proof data for our clients.”
Locking down data
With its adoption of the IBM Cloud Object Storage solution, The Bunker has improved its service offering to customers, enabling them to host large amounts of data at relatively low cost, and in a way that complies with UK data laws.
“The new object-based storage offering is a real complement to our portfolio,” says Philip Bindley. “Customers can come to us, say ‘here’s the data that we legally have to keep in the UK,’ and we can ensure we maintain that data for them, in the most secure environment possible. IBM Cloud Object Storage helps give our customers peace of mind, because with us they know they can keep their data secure, and at much lower cost than a traditional on-premises storage infrastructure.”
IBM Cloud Object Storage is also helping The Bunker, and its customers, to prepare for the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation.
“The deep archive we offer with IBM Cloud Object Storage really does go hand in hand with GDPR requirements,” explains Greg McVey. “In terms of the deep archive, if you have a compelling business reason to store personal information, which a lot of companies will do, the data protection authorities will expect you to show how you are safeguarding that data. Taking into account the level of encryption and security that IBM Cloud Object Storage offers, I really don’t think there’s a more secure way of protecting that personal information.”
Philip Bindley concludes: “I don’t think enough people know what object-based storage can do for them. There’s probably petabytes of data out there, sitting on on-premise servers or storage tapes, clogging up all that infrastructure. IBM Cloud Object Storage is helping us to show people that data storage in the cloud is no longer a forced compromise between cost and security—they can be confident that their information will be there whenever they need it, and they won’t break the bank in the process.”
The Bunker is an IT security firm based in the UK. Founded in 1994, it provides infrastructure and data storage solutions that offer extremely high levels of security, resilience, and performance, with its two biggest data centers located in armored ex-Ministry of Defence facilities.
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