Ensuring Effective and Secure Solutions Using Data Center Providers

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1 CASE STUDY Ensuring Effective and Secure Solutions SmartVault Selects CyrusOne Colocation for Online Storage of Financial Data

2 SmartVault is a Houston-based business that provides secure, cloud-based online document storage and file-sharing services fortax preparation, accounting, and bookkeeping firms. Founded in 2008, SmartVault needed a colocation provider that could offer a highly reliable data center solution backed by a 100-percent-uptime service level agreement to ensure the safety and availability of its IT infrastructure. Since SmartVault specializes in the storage of tax and financial documents, it sought a provider that was SSAE 16 SOC II compliant. SmartVault chose to house its IT footprint in CyrusOne s Houston Galleria data center, which offers multiple levels of security, including an onsite security staff, video monitoring and SSAE 16 SOC II attestation. In addition, when Hurricane Ike hit Houston in late 2008, SmartVault s IT servers and document storage services remained operational, thanks to CyrusOne s physical sturdiness and redundant power architecture. The Company Headquartered in Houston, Texas, SmartVault is a major provider of secure, cloud-based storage and file sharing services for accounting, tax preparation, and bookkeeping firms. SmartVault offers its customers an online storage system for tax and financial documents, with file sharing applications that allow clients to view, store, manage, and share their documents using any desktop or mobile device. SmartVault s applications integrate with major accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero, and with corporate tax preparation software such as Intuit Lacerte and ProSeries. We are primarily a business-to-business-to-consumer service, says Mike Webb, chief technology officer of SmartVault. Our customers are accounting and bookkeeping firms who usually have between 1,500 and 10,000 clients. We help them to store and manage their clients tax returns and other financial information, and to securely share documents with the people who require access to them. We take a very proactive approach to security, since our clients are entrusting us with thousands of documents that include confidential personal and financial data, explains Joel Swift, SmartVault s IT director. Among our employees, we have several developers who are responsible for building multiple layers of security into our storage system and applications. CyrusOne Enterprise Data Centers CyrusOne.com 2

3 The Challenge Almost immediately after it was founded in 2008, SmartVault began looking for data center services. The company sought a facility in close proximity to its Houston location, to give its IT footprint the essential elements of power, Internet connectivity, and physical security. In terms of power, we were looking for a data center that offered high redundancy, which lends itself to high availability, says Webb. We needed to ensure our servers would always be up and running. Any downtime for our IT footprint could result in a loss of valuable tax and financial information for our clients. Also, we needed a data center with redundant connectivity, so our clients would always be able to access and view the documents stored on our servers. But the most important factor was physical security. Since our clients entrust us with confidential financial data, SmartVault wanted its data center provider to be SSAE16 SOC 2 compliant. We needed a data center that offered on-site physical security features to help us meet our objectives. The Solution In 2008, SmartVault chose CyrusOne s Houston Galleria data center to host its IT footprint. CyrusOne provides us with best-of-breed colocation services, which enables us to keep focused on our core business of supporting our tax and accounting customers, says Swift. If we tried to build our own IT environment, we could never do it as well or run it as effectively as CyrusOne does it for us. It s just easier and far more cost-effective to let them handle our power, cooling, and physical security needs. Some other data center providers we talked to offered us extra services, adds Webb. But it felt like they were more interested in pushing those services on us than in solving SmartVault s IT problems. CyrusOne wasn t like that. They focused on providing us with the key colocation elements power, cooling, connectivity, and security. We liked this approach because CyrusOne was paying attention to what we really needed, and looking for ways to fulfill those needs. CyrusOne Enterprise Data Centers CyrusOne.com 3

4 Benefits A Disaster-Proof Data Center CyrusOne s Houston Galleria data center is built to withstand hurricanes and other natural disasters. The facility is located in a reinforced concrete structure that is physically raised 3 feet above ground level to protect it from the risk of flooding. CyrusOne has delivered on its 100-percent uptime service level agreement, says Webb. In six years, we ve never once lost power to our servers. The Houston Galleria facility sits on dual circuits to two power grids from two different cities, so if one grid goes down, the other circuit will take over and supply power to the data center. Each of SmartVault s racks has fully redundant PDUs. Also, the facility has diesel-fueled backup generators that can provide power to the facility for up to two weeks. When Hurricane Ike hit in 2008, our servers at the CyrusOne Houston Galleria location did not go down. Nearly 300,000 people in Houston lost power, including almost every SmartVault employee, and some parts of Texas were offline for two weeks. But SmartVault s applications never went offline, and our customers throughout the country could always access the documents they d stored with us. When potential clients ask us how safe our storage services are, with our servers being located on the Gulf Coast, we tell them about CyrusOne s data center and our experience with Hurricane Ike. The fact that this facility has survived disasters like hurricanes without going down is a great testimony to the durability of the facility and its redundant power architecture. High-Level Security CyrusOne provides us with a SSAE16 SOC 2 service auditors report that documents all their physical security features and controls, says Webb. SmartVault s security policy, which we give to our customers as a guarantee, begins with and emphasizes the fact that our data center has physical security. At CyrusOne s Houston Galleria data center, multiple layers of security are very apparent. The entire facility is fenced in, and you have to identify yourself to the security people when you enter at the parking lot, and present valid identification at the building s main entrance. The Customers Only entrance has key-card access and you go through a mantrap. Inside the facility, you have to use badge access and biometric fingerprint scanning to move through the doors between ata halls. SmartVault s racks are housed inside locked cabinets, for which only our designated employees have physical keys. All areas of the data center are patrolled by security guards, and monitored 24/7 by closed-circuit video cameras. Connectivity and Room to Grow CyrusOne provides us with a redundant Internet connection, with tie-ins to multiple different ISPs, says Swift. They give us an IP address and an Ethernet cable with a 100 percent guaranteed uptime level, which makes connectivity very easy for us. Also, we know CyrusOne has room for us to grow. If we need to establish a second footprint, we can do so in any of their Texas facilities or even out-ofstate locations. CyrusOne Enterprise Data Centers CyrusOne.com 4

5 A Partner for Success We ve always had the best customer service from CyrusOne s operational team, says Swift. We ve never felt ignored or pushed aside in favor of clients with larger footprints. And we ve never had to complain to get the services we wanted. CyrusOne makes our business feel just as welcome as their larger Fortune 20 clients. At their Houston Galleria facility, the CyrusOne staff has the expertise to keep the data center operational. They do frequent testing of UPS systems and generators, to make sure they are working correctly. CyrusOne is also very transparent about testing activities and changes. They send us notifications whenever they change a routing platform or their switching fabric, or if they acquire a new vendor. You expect this kind of transparency from a mature IT organization with a culture dedicated to quality of service. Our relationship with CyrusOne is very boring - but that s actually a positive thing, says Webb. It s the same type of relationship that you want with your power company. CyrusOne provides us with the services you take for granted in a data center, so we can focus on growing our business and keeping our customers satisfied. About SmartVault SmartVault, a leading provider of Software as a Service (SaaS) online document storage and secure file-sharing solutions, provides accounting professionals and businesses with an easy and affordable solution for users to store, view, and share files securely anytime and from anywhere. SmartVault s unique integration with popular accounting and tax applications such as QuickBooks, Xero, and FreshBooks and Intuit Lacerte and ProSeries creates a seamless experience for users to store, organize, search, and retrieve client information. SmartVault has earned top honors from Intuit as a QuickBooks Gold Certified Developer, has won multiple Readers Choice Awards and Technology Innovation Awards from CPA Practice Advisor, and has earned both Awesome App and Awesome QuickBooks Add-On awards from The Sleeter Group. Contact SmartVault at for more information. We re proud of our relationship with CyrusOne, and we prominently display their brand on our website. I think that speaks volumes about how we feel about their service. CyrusOne Enterprise Data Centers CyrusOne.com 5

6 About CyrusOne CyrusOne (NASDAQ: CONE) specializes in highly reliable enterprise-class, carrier-neutral data center properties. The company provides mission-critical data center facilities that protect and ensure the continued operation of IT infrastructure for hundreds of customers, including many of the Fortune CyrusOne s data center offerings provide the flexibility, reliability and security that enterprise customers require, which are delivered through a tailored, customer service-focused platform designed to foster long-term relationships. CyrusOne s National Internet Exchange (IX) provides robust connectivity options that help drive revenue, reduce expenses and improve service quality for the enterprise. CyrusOne is committed to full transparency in communication, management and service delivery throughout its worldwide footprint of enterprise data centers. Learn more at CyrusOne.com. Scott Brueggeman Chief Marketing Officer With more than 20 years of combined experience in data center, telecom, and internet marketing, Scott oversees global marketing strategy for CyrusOne. His initiatives have earned CyrusOne notable marketing honors, including the BMA Gold Tower Award, Gold Stevie Award, and B2B Marketing Campaign of the Year by the Business Marketing Association. Scott Brueggeman on Google+ Scott Brueggeman on Twitter Scott Brueggeman on LinkedIn Scott Brueggeman on CyrusOne Blog CS CyrusOne, LLC CyrusOne Enterprise Data Centers CyrusOne.com 6

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