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NOTE: This is the latest in a series of Online Tech client profiles.
Indiana-based Baseline Data Services, LLC, was looking for data center space to continue growing its disaster recovery services business. Coincidentally, Online Tech was in the process of investing $10 million to open a secure, compliant, enterprise-class hosting facility in nearby Indianapolis.
The rest, as they say, is history.
The two organizations were so impressed with each other that not only did Baseline become the first customer at Online Tech’s new Indianapolis data center, they also formed a partnership to extend each other’s services to their respective clients. A fiber running between Baseline’s facility and Online Tech’s Indiana data center — which opened for business on October 1 — provides convenient and secure communication for shared customers.
“When I met the executives and engineers at Online Tech, I felt like they were an extension of the way we run our business,” said Baseline founder and president Lance Thompson.
Baseline’s focus is strictly on providing disaster recovery solutions, online data protection and virtual private servers to hundreds of companies across 44 states. It has a perfect track record of 100-percent recovery success after more than 100 confirmed disasters.
After more than 25 years in the industry, Thompson has seen expectations for disaster recovery change significantly. His company is focused on meeting the most demanding ones.
“In the past, people were very happy if they could be recovered in less than 24 hours,” he said. “Now, sometimes people need to literally fail over. If they go down in production, they need it back up in a matter of minutes. We’re capable of doing that.”
Baseline’s disaster recovery solutions include core processors, critical servers, image processing systems and individual applications. Not just core software systems are backed up – Baseline adds to backup configuration any third-party applications considered important to a client’s operation, including email exchange servers and domain controllers.
In the event of a disaster, Thompson said Baseline’s engineers “become an extension of the customers’ IT departments” and will recreate their server environment for them so IT can focus on restoring production.
The genealogy of Baseline starts when Thompson left IBM in 1983 to form his own business reselling used IBM computers. The focus of that company gravitated to specializing in the banking vertical and grew to include providing hardware sales, disaster recovery and check processing resources to banks around the country.
In 2006, Thompson sold the hardware sales and check processing divisions of the business and reincorporated the disaster recovery division at Baseline Data Services, LLC. The company expanded its facilities and added the various operating systems it works with today to provide services to middle-market and enterprise-level businesses, in addition to its banking base. Today, roughly 80-percent of Baseline’s new customers are from outside the banking industry.
Baseline operates its own world class, enterprise-level facility with a fully-equipped crisis center that clients can use as an alternative workspace during a disaster. But with that space nearing capacity, it was time to either expand or seek colocation with a data center that takes security and compliance as seriously as Baseline does.
There was only one such option in the state of Indiana – and it was still being renovated. So Thompson took tours of two of Online Tech’s Michigan data centers and later signed on to become the company’s first Indianapolis customer.
“I was running out of space and it was curtailing growth. Online Tech’s data centers made a lot of sense,” Thompson said. “I wanted to stick with what we’re good at and let Online Tech do what it’s good at. As an investment for me, it makes more sense to continue down our path than get into the data center business.”