80 per cent of Swiss pharmacies belong to the professional association Ofac. This association offers members a comprehen sive service, effectively relieving them of administrative tasks. Key to this is uninterrupted access to information and applications.
The computer centre in Geneva controls all services that Ofac offers to its members, of which there are over 1350. Around 15 million prescriptions and invoices are processed here annually. Swiss pharmacies also access Ofac’s online applications in their thousands every day. Prolonged system interruptions would have unwelcome consequences for the professional association and its customers. As part of certification in accordance with ISO 27001, a risk analysis revealed that the previous solution with a single computer centre was no longer sustainable.
«Recovery time of 1 hour»: Swisscom had to achieve this ambitious goal when it implemented the disaster recovery concept. Connecting a second site more than 15 km from the main site of the Ofac server has now ensured the highest possible level of availability of information and applications. Both sites are permanently active and are connected to the Swisscom site concurrently. Customers communicate with Ofac via this site, and large quantities of data are archived here. The application data is transmitted via ethernet and the archiving data via fibre channel connections from Swisscom Opticallink Services. All sites are redundantly interconnected with each other. The virtual switching concept from Cisco enables an extremely powerful structure, resembling a single, logical network.
«The new solution with the two active server centres is good insurance for us,» explains Dr David Voltz, CIO of Ofac. «In day to day activities, it is clear that we have made exactly the right investment. We are benefiting from the advantages of the solution, without our customers noticing service interruptions at one of our sites. Swisscom really has done pioneering work here. After the first approach to the solution failed, we started again with a blank sheet of paper and an extremely complicated initial situation. A standard solution would not have fulfilled our requirements. Swisscom went a step further. Its innovative procedure and expert team impressed us. It has delivered a real showcase solution.»