Irish telco provides European disaster recovery

26 Oct 2005

Global Voice Group, an international telco founded in Ireland, operating across 14 European cities and listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, today revealed a new disaster recovery service aimed at the Irish, Dutch and German markets.

Entitled Active DR, the service will facilitate the immediate recovery of critical data in a disaster scenario, in addition to allowing businesses to harness the otherwise idle processing power of their disaster recovery sites. Active DR is a tailored solution aimed at eliminating the difficulties and inefficiencies traditionally associated with remotely hosted disaster recovery solutions, including the time-intensive restoration process involved in restoring data from tape and the financial implications of an expensive contingency-use-only IT solution.

Operating in some of Europe’s key financial cities – including London and Frankfurt – Global Voice is headed up by former Computer Associates and Metromedia Ireland boss Noel Meaney. Earlier this year Global Voice achieved revenues of €20.4m and surpassed forecast revenues by more than 15pc.

Established in Dublin in early 2002, Global Voice listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in October 2004 through a reverse takeover of Horizon Education and Technologies.

Global Voice was built on the embers of data centre firm Metromediam, which went into administration in 2002 with the dotcom, telecoms and data centre downturn. Meaney led a management buyout, cleaned up the company and now it is profitable.

Global Voice, with a predominantly Irish management team, is providing fibre network services to corporates in 14 cities across Europe, with plans to launch managed services in Ireland before Christmas. Meaney and his colleagues also own the former Metromedia data centre in Citywest Business Campus, over half of which is leased by Hewlett-Packard for its outsourcing business and is at full capacity (customers include Bank of Ireland and Google).

Meaney says he intends to harness the redundant capacity of his data centres and available networks to ensure businesses don’t lose vital data if disaster strikes. As part of the solution data at the primary site is replicated in real-time to the disaster recovery site. In case of a failure at the primary site, critical software can be instantly booted up at the Active DR site. The information exchange takes place via exclusive, dedicated strands of fibre provided by Global Voice and enables a rapid restoration of data.

Meaney explained: “Of course everybody hopes that disaster will never strike one’s company, but sometimes natural disasters such as a fire or flood strike. This often means not only the loss of the IT infrastructure, but of the data as well. Even if all the information has been stored off-site on tapes, it will take days or even weeks until the company is up and running again – an unacceptable risk.”

Active DR constantly monitors the data involved; with potential data corruption identified and repaired immediately. To heighten security, information is encrypted ‘on the fly’ as well as ‘at rest’. All data is transferred via Global Voice’s own network, with companies having exclusive use of their own strands of fibre, with no external points of access.

Customers using Global Voice’s Active DR solution will be able to access restored data via dedicated fibre solutions to secondary locations or by internet-based virtual private network – allowing them to operate from any location that has internet connectivity. Staff will even have access to the data from home via laptops. The solution will be immediately available to Global Voice’s customers in Germany and the Netherlands and to Irish businesses in early 2006.

By John Kennedy