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Harcourts International to ‘Disaster Proof’ Online Systems

Harcourts International to ‘Disaster Proof’ Their Online Systems

Real estate group, Harcourts International, are upgrading their servers in Australia and New Zealand to ensure if either country suffered a natural disaster, servers would be re-routed to another country
instead of going offline.

The decision stems from Christchurch’s disastrous earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, which saw numerous businesses go offline. The Technology Headquarters for Harcourts International in Christchurch were evacuated for six weeks; fortunately strategies were in place to keep servers online.

Jason Wills, Chief Information Officer at Harcourts International said, “Harcourts were lucky compared to a lot of businesses, our computer systems were hosted by Telecom’s datacentre in Hillmorton. Given that natural disasters are bound to occur, Harcourts have made the strategic decision to replace all of our server systems in New Zealand and Australia with the very latest virtualised hardware from Hewlett Packard.”

The current New Zealand servers at Telecom’s Hillmorten datacentre will be re-located with the new server hardware at Telecom’s brand new datacenter at Christchurch airport. The Australian servers will be installed in the Harcourts Sydney Datacentre.

“The key to this new installation is the ability for the Australian and New Zealand database systems to replicate to each country. If either country were to suffer a natural disaster, the country that is affected will be off-line for no more than 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the users from the country affected are re-routed to the other country’s servers,” said Mr Wills.

The implementation of the new server architecture will take place during July and August, with stage three to add Harcourts USA, China and Hong Kong servers.

“I see this as the silver bullet for protecting Harcourts clients and our Harcourts team as we expand our operations globally,” Mr Wills said.


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