DundeeWealth Inc. is enhancing its disaster recovery strategy by moving its primary data centre out of its headquarters in the downtown Toronto core to a SunGard Data Systems Inc. data centre facility in Mississauga, Ont., where SunGard Availability Services will provide managed colocation services.
The Toronto-based independent wealth management company, which currently oversees $72.2 billion in fee-earning assets, is also expanding its alternative workspace arrangements by renting shared and dedicated workgroup seats at SunGard disaster recovery sites in Mississauga and Montreal.
DundeeWealth’s migration to SunGard has been in progress since the beginning of 2010 and the process should be complete before the end of the year, said To Anh Tran, senior vice-president of business transformation and technology at DundeeWealth.
“We believe SunGard would offer us the best-of-breed solution in terms of their proficiency in their domain,” said Tran.
SunGard’s data centre, based in a suburb of Toronto, provides a 100 per cent power resilience SLA, said Andrew Byrne, regional vice-president of solutions design at SunGard availability services. “On top of that, we provide a gamut of services,” he said.
The managed colocation services range from localized services like tape handling to managing a customer’s operating systems, patch management, security management, network management and storage management, he said.
DundeeWealth has contracted a mix of shared and dedicated workspace seats from SunGard, where staff in the Toronto and Montreal areas can go to perform critical operations in the event of a disaster. The company has contracted dedicated workspace seats from SunGard in Mississauga and a mix of shared seats in Mississauga and Montreal, said Byrne.
SunGard’s seats provide typical working conditions, such as a phone, voice mail and a PC, so staff can perform normal business activities and are interconnected with DundeeWealth’s IT system via the SunGard network, he said.
The seats are an add-on to DundeeWealth's existing disaster recovery buildings, said Tran. “We decided to go with that strategy to give us what I would call an enhancement over our existing data centre capabilities,” she said.
DundeeWealth is essentially reducing its probability of risk by moving its data centre out of the downtown core and the contract for shared and dedicated workgroup seats further reduces risks when a problem does occur, said Byrne.
Data centre locations are a “familiar problem with a number of downtown financial clients” for a number of different reasons, said Byrne. “They really should be moving them out of the downtown core and out to the suburbs,” he said.
For example, “the continuing threat of a terrorist attack in the downtown core is vastly reduced by moving out into one of the suburban data centre locations,” he said.
Civil unrest is another risk, which recently occurred in downtown Toronto during the G20 Summit, he said. There are also “numerous power outages” taking place in cities, he said, highlighting the major power outage that took place in Toronto in 2003.