IT and Security

Secure, reliable and disaster-ready

DirectLine provides secure access to customer data on our servers, and the preservation of that data by way of backup procedures. Here are just some of the ways we’re delivering security, reliability and disaster readiness to our customers:

 Secure communications

We use Citrix XP for communications over the internet. Data is transferred through port 1494. All connections through 1494 must originate from the “Client” not the server. We also offer SSL connection by way of Port 443 which uses secure certificates.

 Solid protection

All data is password protected on Megamation Systems’ servers and all servers are behind a Cisco Systems firewall router. This router is complete with a full feature set to protect against the possibility of “denial of service” attacks.

Daily and weekly backups

We do full backups daily and weekly backups of the last 10 weeks using BrightStor ARCserve Backup version 11.5r3. The backup tapes are kept off site and weekly backups are kept for six weeks. The backup has the ability to backup open files, so users don’t need to logoff during the backup window. We use LTO-3 tape media which has a 800GB capacity on a single cartridge when the data is compressed. We also use fibre optic cable access, and have a backup line available to prevent downtime.

 Secure FTP access option

We can zip the database and send it to our FTP, allowing you to pull a copy of your data to your site. Our servers accept calls only from Port 1494 and 443, and we do not allow email to be received directly nor do we allow system services other than the ones we require. Through the secure ports we have direct access to our server farm, consisting of a number of WINTEL servers that are isolated from each other and also by Domain, user groups and users. This secures access to your data from at least four levels on the server. Our software also has user-configured access to the database so you can limit the data accessed by your user groups.

 Separate server farms

We have two separate server farms with the configuration and capacity to run all of our clients, without performance degradation. Each of the server rooms is a secured and separate room with physical access limited to numbered keys that cannot be duplicated. To reduce the chance of a service interruption caused by a disk drive failure all servers use raid 5 drives. The availability of backup servers enables response to a server failure within minutes. The servers are monitored constantly.

 Comprehensive disaster recovery procedures

On top of our robust technology and security procedures, we also employ disk staging, which allows us to back up data to a temporary data storage location (staging area), and then migrate (copy) the data to tapes. We use a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device as our staging area. This provides the advantage of:

Having a backup available on-site even after the tapes have gone off-site. This allows us to restore data from the previous day without the delay of retrieving tapes from off-site.

  • If there are any errors during the copy-to-disk destination process, the disk staging option also allows you to create makeup jobs.
  • Allows us to perform backup verification (see below).
  • Allows us to shorten our backup window.

We use “Compare Backup Media to Disk” Backup Verification. This automatic verification reads blocks of data from the backup media and compares the data, byte for byte, against the source files on the staging area. The staging area has static data, which allows us to do this verification even if users are logged into the production system.

Additionally, we manually restore a server from tapes each day of the week excluding Saturday and Sunday. This ensures that the backups are being performed correctly and provides our support staff with ongoing training on the backup/restore procedure.

We use Iron Mountain for our off-site storage. They pick up the tapes daily and provide tape return within four hours. We can restore the previous days backup immediately from the staging area without requesting a tape from off-site storage. Spare servers are available at all times in case your production server fails. Our backup site can be used in case of a catastrophic event at our production site. The backup site is presently in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.