MassMutual Asia Limited

Background

MassMutual Asia Limited, headquarter in Hong Kong, is a one of the largest financial services providers in Asia. As a member of the MassMutual Financial group based in U.S., MassMutual Asia is the flagship company specialized in risk and wealth management business in the region. In the past years, the company continues to expand and consistently achieve more than 20% average growth in the market. In 2015, MassMutual Asia has reached a premium income of 6 billion Hong Kong dollar with over 2,800 of professional consultants. Considering the security prospect of the business, the compliance team of the group imposes a new standard of data protection. The company is required to keep one set of data backup image 60 miles away from its headquarter. In order to meet the requirement, MassMutual turns to Microsoft Azure, as it will be an optimal solution for the company data protection plan.

Situation

The current operating Noveil and VMware as disaster recovery and virtual machines solutions are not sufficient for MassMutual Asia to meet the group’s standard. The company needs a solution to meet the compliance requirement at a much lower cost. Therefore, MassMutual Asia asks for the consultancy of Microsoft Partner, SOS group limited, to design and implement a strategic plan for its data protection. SOS develops a fully customized Azure solution for MassMutual Asia:  A combination of Azure Site Recovery, Azure StorSimple and Azure ExpressRoute.

Solution

Azure Storsimple with Cloud integrated storage (CiS) is a powerful solution which resolves the problem of inefficient data backup, disaster and recovery. CiS selectively caches the company’s data storage on premise into cloud-based storage and it is accepted as part of the primary storage system.  The system automatically caches active data to local storage and syncs relatively less active data into the cloud. Data are kept and protected in a local Microsoft data center in Hong Kong while there is a geo-replication at Microsoft datacenter in Singapore. The company’s virtual machines are protected with a private route to Azure as a private disaster recovery site. Azure ExpressRoute ensure a secure and private connection between the company’s network infrastructure and Azure. The deployment of Microsoft Azure StorSimple solution is completed with the help of SOS’s astute execution plan.  MassMutual Asia immediately starts to benefit from the application of Azure cloud-based services.

Lower Cost on Backup Solution

The backup of data is stored in cloud of Microsoft’s datacenter in Hong Kong. Users of the company can retrieve and access data through a local broadband. In comparison to transfer data via overseas cable, the running cost for internet is much lower. Transforming data backup onto cloud will additionally enhance more cost saving as the development of premise for more storage is no longer needed.

Faster and Greater Connectivity

Portal acceleration is supported by the geo-replication solution of Microsoft Azure StorSimple. Applying a combination of data compression and content caching system, the volume of data that has to be transferred is reduced in order to keep portal content accurate across all servers. The advanced compression is able to reduce the stress that portal traffic enforces on networks. As a result, both the response and reaction time of the portal is improved.

Improved Disaster Recovery and Compliance

With the data protection features of StorSimple, backups are formulated as incremental snapshots which can be retrieved and restored quickly. Cloud snapshots replaced the position of tape backup in the secondary storage systems and it allows the company to restore data without extended recovery time. As a result, company’s normal activities and operations can continue without any major disruption. It takes less time to restore and it minimizes the disruption during restoration.

Secure Access to Network

The application of Azure express route provides a secure network infrastructure for the company. Layer 3 connectivity establishes multiple dynamic routing protocol (BGP) sessions with the company’s own network for different traffic profiles.  Every ExpressRoute circuit includes two connections to two Microsoft Enterprise edge routers (MSEEs) – and each requires dual BGP connections from the company source. Users access their data via internet reliably with private network connectivity to Microsoft.

The Future

By using Microsoft’s Azure, MassMutual Asia Limited improves its data protection with a geo-replication backup. Users benefits from a faster and secure access to data with private connection to azure. Disaster recovery is more reliable with better recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). The overall business infrastructure is more mature for adoption in advanced digital transformation. The company is prepared for next generation data evolution.

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