Vantage Point Title, based in Clearwater, Florida, is a rapidly growing national title insurance agency. Among its clients are large mortgage companies, banks and credit unions. The firm prides itself on extracting the maximum value and potential from its IT investments in order to build a streamlined, efficient and reliable system for achieving its number-one goal: customer service.
Vantage Point Title had recently brought its IT production environment back in-house, but was using a large, global public cloud provider for data backup and storage. With security and data protection regulations impacting the large financial institutions it was increasingly working with, Vantage Point Title decided to re-evluate its cloud vendor. Its customers were not “anti-cloud.” However, as a matter of state and federal jurisdictional requirements, the location of any of Vantage Point Title’s customers’ data that was replicated and stored in a backup site had to be readily identifiable down to the storage array that contained it. The infrastructure itself had to comply with all applicable regulations governing the handling and security of that data. Many large, global public cloud providers generally cannot pinpoint where data in their cloud systems is stored, much less what country it’s in. There was also the matter of cost.
“I didn’t want to go out and buy a bunch of hardware that could meet production-level requirements, but sat in the data center and was rarely used,” said Kevin Mazur, the CIO for Vantage Point.
Mazur had worked with Peak 10 previously, when Vantage Point Title and its former sister company shared physical servers within one of Peak 10’s Tampa data centers. Recalling that previous relationship and the fact that Peak 10 is audited annually for various regulatory compliance requirements, Mazur decided to contact the company again.
The Peak 10 Solution
Mazur didn’t want to revert back to colocation for backup and storage, but he thought it might be necessary in order to satisfy the regulatory and compliance demands of Vantage Point Title’s large financial customers. Representatives from Vantage Point Title sat down with the Peak 10 team, reviewed colocation and cloud solutions, and estimated the cost of the two options. Vantage Point Title then shared the information with its customers, who concurred that the Peak 10 cloud was acceptable.
“That was good news; the cloud was always my goal,” recalled Mazur. “We want to remain small and agile, and stay focused on customers and growing our business. Flexibility is what I’m looking for, and this cloud solution provides it.”
Vantage Point Title and Peak 10 built a system that replicates the company’s real- time production data in SQL databases, and maintains a warm backup system for disaster recovery (DR). The backup system allows Vantage Point Title to have hardware and connectivity established, but the site is not in live production mode. Guided by a detailed DR plan, Vantage Point Title can be back up in a few hours from anywhere in the country, which meets its recovery time objective.
The warm backup system at Peak 10 can scale quickly to above-production levels and is highly adaptable to meet clients’ needs. A dedicated virtual private network with two-factor authentication links Vantage Point Title desktops across the country to the backup data center. After a disaster has run its course, switching back to the company’s production site is easy.
Peak 10’s unparalleled standing in the industry for its comprehensive security and compliance programs was positively received both by Vantage Point Title and its customers, who must comply with the financial reporting and internal controls issued by the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 16.
“Vantage Point Title has gone above and beyond by certifying our systems, procedures and processes with a SSAE 16 audit,” said Mazur.
“That fact that Peak 10 does that and much more is a strong point of differentiation for them, as well as for us and our customers.”
The implementation of the DR solution went smoothly. Soon after, Mazur realized he needed a few additional resources and to make some changes. Storage requirements had grown significantly.
“We went from one terabyte to two, just like that,” Mazur explained. “Peak 10 had the additional storage available to us the next day. The engineers were awesome at getting everything set up. Working through the support website was fast and easy.”
Vantage Point Title’s rapid growth trajectory continues on a national scale unabated. Leaving backup and recovery to Peak 10 means that the company has more time and resources to support that growth. Mazur noted that when it’s time to refresh the company’s hardware, Vantage Point Title may decide the time is right to go into the cloud full time with its production system. That system handles mortgage refinancing primarily with large mortgage companies, banks and credit unions.
“Our goal is to streamline everything we do, squeezing out every ounce of productivity so that we can remain nimble. We don’t intend to grow to be a large conglomerate that is slow to react to market changes,” said the CIO.
“Working with Peak 10 has been a pleasure, and that’s not normal with vendors!”