When your computer room overheats and your office is hit by frequent power outages, it’s time to make a change.
That was the sentiment of Mark Gaddie, vice president of information technology at Stanz Foodservice. The firm has more than 170 employees and its distribution center is based in South Bend.
"We decided to sign on with Metronet because we didn’t really have a good data center to speak of," explained Gaddie, whose company became a subscriber during the summer of 2008.
He said Stanz Foodservices’ building was constructed as a warehouse and food distribution center and that its problem−plagued computer room was essentially an afterthought.
"To deal with the cooling difficulties and power outages, we would have needed a bigger air conditioning unit and a nearly full−time back−up generator," he said. "We didn’t want to go that route. We wanted a more simple option."
That’s when Stanz Foodservice decided to move its computer system to a disaster recovery facility in South Bend operated by GramTel, a Cincinnati Bell subsidiary.
"Before we could do that, though, we obviously needed some sort of a communication link between our office and the data center," he said. "We needed something that was fast and reliable and had a lot of bandwidth. We got that with Metronet.
"When the Metronet came to our part of South Bend near the airport, we worked with them so they could run the fiber past our building so we could connect. As soon as that happened, we basically moved our computer system down to GramTel’s data center in a matter of a month or two. "
Now, Gaddie said, the company has − to use an insurance company cliché −− peace of mind.
"Our move to GramTel’s data center was a strategic decision to protect one of the company’s greatest assets, the computer system," he said, noting that the company hasn’t changed any procedures since it signed on with Metronet.
"GramTel’s data center provides temperature control, dual power and physical security, everything we were looking for in a data center. The move would not have been possible without the Metronet’s high speed, extremely reliable connection between the office and our computer.
"The analysis we did on Metronet was one of the most thorough and extensive processes I’ve ever been part of. I needed to be 100 percent confident in the connection, because no matter how much our computer system was protected, if we couldn’t access it, it would be worthless."
By signing up with Metronet, Gaddie said his company saved some greenbacks, too.
"It used to cost us money every time our system went down," he said. "We would have needed a big generator because we are a 24/7 company. It was a lot more cost− effective to simply move things down to GramTel."
Now, all Stanz Foodservice has at its headquarters are its computers and some switches that connect it to the Metronet.
"The firewall and the computer system servers are at the other end of the Metronet fiber and that’s working just great for us," he said.