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    Kwik Trip Upgrades Disaster Recovery System

    Stores able to operate if data center goes down.

    LA CROSSE, Wisc. -- Kwik Trip Inc. is upgrading its disaster recovery system using Network Instruments' GigaStor, which provides a high-speed link between the convenience store operator's recovery site and main data center.

    GigaStors' 10-Gbps link allows complete redundancy for the fast-growing 400-plus-store chain, Chuck Serauskas, Kwik Trip's LAN and WAN administrator, told Network World.

    "We're currently splitting our virtual machine environment between the two sites, and that's where the 10 Gig comes in," Serauskas said. "If we lose our building here then all of our stores will still be able to operate and do everything they normally would because we'll have total replication."

    Nearly 90 percent of the chain's servers are virtual. At the data center, the company recently migrated from an old rack system to a pod system with in-line cooling and the redundant backup, he noted.

    Assuring that the GigaStor is capturing all packets is an absolute imperative, he said. "We've got to be able to capture all that traffic traveling across the backup to make sure all the replicated data is getting to the disaster recovery site," Serauskas told Network World. "If there are problems with the IBM AS/400 or VM replication, we've got to be able to verify the network is communicating right and another issue is causing the problem."

    Kwik Trip brought in the GigaStore appliance six years ago. The c-store operator uses the appliance for basic application troubleshooting and network capture, and has grown to use it in many other ways, Serauskas said.

    GigaStor has helped with Kwik Trip's PCI compliance reporting, for example. "We have a forensics piece on GigaStor that lets us run Snort bleeding-edge filters over captures to look for strange or bad things on our network," Serauskas said. "Our security officer uses this on a quarterly basis for PCI compliance."


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