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Retraites Populaires invests in Datadobi to move 18 years of production and archive data into new IT environment

Retraites Populaires invests in Datadobi to move 18 years of production and archive data into new IT environment

Banking & FinanceCase StudiesDataData CentresDigital TransformationNorth AmericaTop Stories

Financial and insurance service leader, Retraites Populaires, has invested in the Datadobi StorageMAP platform as the foundation for its tech refresh and data center transformation. With StorageMAP, Retraites Populaires was able to move 18 years of production and archive data into its new IT environment quickly, safely, and affordably, while ensuring critical end-to-end chain of custody.

Founded in 1907, Retraites Populaires’ mission is to facilitate access to pensions for all, while controlling long-term commitments and investing funds in a sustainable and socially responsible manner.

Its focus is on four key pillars: individual savings and pensions, loans, real estate and rental, and occupational pensions. Retraites Populaires accompanies its clients every step of the way, supporting individuals, companies and institutions with timely insight and individualized guidance via its team of professional advisors and the Retraites Populaires platform.

The challenge – data center transformation

Engineered, managed and regularly enhanced via its own internal team of developers, Retraites Populaires boasts its own software platform designed to support the requirements of its internal users, as well as enable its clients to enjoy an easy to navigate yet sophisticated digital experience individualized to their specific financial and insurance needs.

Twice a year, Retraites Populaires rolls-out a new release of its software platform. In addition to advancing its functionality, its focus is also on ensuring optimum performance, data protection and security. Retraites Populaires employs more than 10 environments to test, prior to each release. And it maintains multiple data centers to support its backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) requirements, as well as to help ensure it can recover quickly from a ransomware attack. In addition, in order to support these goals, Retraites Populaires upgrades its overall IT infrastructure approximately every five years.

For this refresh, Retraites Populaires would be moving production and archive data, made up of customer information including PII, and back-office intelligence including documentation of all business processes, accumulated over the past 18 years into its new NetApp environment.

The solution

“At Retraites Populaires we recognize that sticking with older technologies can inhibit business agility, productivity, and process efficiency, preventing our organization from achieving its objectives. In addition, outdated or unsupported technologies are oftentimes more vulnerable to cyberattacks,” said Daniel Pizzolante, System Architect, Retraites Populaires. “When it came time to modernize our IT infrastructure, we turned to our trusted advisor Bechtle Suisse to collaborate on choosing and deploying the best-in-class.

“However, one decision was already made from day one. When we were ready to migrate our data from our legacy technology into our new environments, we agreed we would be using Datadobi, thanks to the advice of Bechtle’s Expert. Having used its software during our last tech refresh, we knew it offered an unrivaled solution for moving our unstructured data quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively in a completely vendor-neutral fashion.

“In other words, we weren’t locked-into any specific vendor’s solutions and had the freedom to choose the best technology for our unique business and IT requirements, as the migration action in StorageMAP can migrate from any-to-any vendor’s technology. And, our last migration could have posed some challenges, for instance we had WORM data that needed to be moved. However, Datadobi’s unstructured data management platform tackled this and all potential hurdles with ease.”

Write once, read many or WORM is a data storage technology that allows data to be written to a storage medium a single time and prevents the data from being erased or modified. Data stored on a WORM-compliant device is considered immutable; authorized users can read the data as often as needed, but they cannot change it. Immutable storage plays a pivotal role in meeting data security and compliance requirements and protecting against ransomware and other threats.

“For me though, one of the most important benefits of using Datadobi is its chain of custody capabilities,” Pizzolante continued. “StorageMAP and its migration action is the only solution that can certify chain of custody by hashing every single file as it is migrated. A file is declared successfully migrated only if the source and target match. A report is then created to show every single hash of every single file, which can be kept for future auditing.”

“The whole process, from the planning, to the migration, to the switchover took about one month. If we had used another method – it would have taken twice or three times as long. And again, this was business critical data. The other tools do not offer any way to prove there were no changes to the data. Datadobi provides chain of custody validation.

“If we didn’t use Datadobi, we would have had to hire another external validation company which would have added a great deal of time and budget to the project,” Pizzolante added. “We know with Datadobi we will be successful. On the day of the switchover, it took just 10 minutes. The visibility and stability StorageMAP provides is very important for us – and unmatched.”

“I have been working with Datadobi for over five years. During that time, as always, we have tested the alternatives. It is critical that we stay up-to-date on all viable solutions so that we are always able to recommend the ideal solution to our clients from a business, IT, and cost standpoint. Over the years, I have learned that, for any size migration, the only solution is Datadobi. Nothing compares from an ease-of-use, dependability and capabilities standpoint. And there isn’t another solution that comes even close to handling all of the challenges that a heterogeneous environment can throw at you. It’s really a no brainer,” said Christian Bocquet, Solutions Architect, Bechtle Suisse. “StorageMAP is not the cheapest on paper. However, if you take all the costs included and compare them with any other solution – even the free ones, it is by far the most cost effective due to its speed, accuracy and support.”

“For Retraites Populaires, Datadobi’s chain of custody capabilities were particularly important as it is imperative that they can provide the proper reporting and validation that no documents were altered or modified in any way during the migration, should they be audited.

“In addition, we were migrating from two different heterogeneous sources into the new environment. And, we had 30-40 various shares to migrate, all with different permissions,” Bocquet continued. “As a service provider it is critical that we minimize any disruption to the business – interruption in operations. The cutover was fast, taking just under 10 minutes. Using any other solution for this would have been a nightmare. With Datadobi, we were able to complete the migration seamlessly, on time, and well within budget.”

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