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Software Companies Also Are Strengthening Their IT

[This is part of a special
Disaster Planning section
from the November 2006 issue.]

Just as professional tax and accounting firms have increaed their investments
toward protecting their vital client data and preparing their practices for
disasters, so too have the software companies and other vendors who serve the
accounting and tax professions. As an example, Drake
, which produces the Drake Tax Software line, has recently created
a new data center to strengthen the company’s IT capabilities. Here is a rundown
of what Drake has done:

  • The company monitors 161 devices in the Network Control Center (NCC)
  • Maintains more than 100 Dell PowerEdge servers with:
    • dual CPUs
    • dual power supplies (each power supply is attached to a different 120
      volt circuit)
    • the operating systems are on mirrored hard drives and data is stored
      on multiple hard drives configured in a RAID 5 setup
  • Drake has 24 other systems providing specialized services and Electronic
    Filing applications
  • Many of these systems are either load balanced or running 2003 Cluster Server
    for redundancy and immediate fail over
  • Hard drives of every critical server are imaged each night for quick recovery
    from hardware or Operating System failure.
  • They mirror the EF servers to a remote facility
  • They are in the process of bringing up a new DATA Center with 30 new systems
    for EF control. This will be a Hot Site for EF.

For Backup and file storage, Drake has:

  • 3 Dell Power Vaults with 2 Terabytes of storage each
  • 2 Compaq 48 drive RAID arrays with 1 Terabyte of storage each
  • 3 Tera_station NAS devices with 1 Terabyte of storage each
  • 1 EMC-300 Fiber Channel RAID array with 1 Terabyte of storage
  • 2 VMAN RAID servers with 3 Terabytes of storage each
  • This is a total of 18 Terabytes of storage (a Terabyte is 1,000 Gigabytes)


  • Drake’s Network Control Center is powered by a Leibert NPower UPS system
    (65KVA) with automated backup Generator Power for always on power.
  • All Drake-owned facilities are networked together with fiber optic cables.
  • Connectivity to the internet is a T3 line, with a bandwidth of 45mb a second.
  • They also have an additional T3 line (shadow circuit) with an immediate
    failover if primary circuit is cut or fails.

(Info provided by Bob Hubbs, Drake’s VP of Information Systems)