IBM Provides Mainframe-Powered Disaster Recovery Solution to the Principal Financial Group

State-of-the-Art Automated Recovery Storage and Server Solution for Financial Services Industry

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DES MOINES, IA & ARMONK, NY - 21 Jul 2004: The Principal Financial Group®, the nation's 401(k) leader and premier provider of employee benefits, and IBM, today announced the completion of a state-of-the-art infrastructure that is designed to be able to restore the powerful systems of The Principal® in less than 24-hours, in the event of natural or unnatural disaster. The new advanced infrastructure provides the foundation for one of the most efficient recovery solutions in the financial services industry, helping to protect the information and records for the 15.6 million worldwide Principal Financial Group customers.

Working with IBM, The Principal deployed IBM's Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS) and Extended Remote Copy (XRC) advanced software solutions running on IBM eServer zSeries mainframe servers and IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Servers. The solution automatically copies critical data and applications, and efficiently transitions workload from the primary data center at The Principal to its back-up site in the event of a disaster.

"With the computing infrastructure from IBM, the Principal Financial Group is in the lead of being technologically fortressed to help prevent loss, damage or destruction of our customers' data, information or records in the event of a disaster," said Gary Scholten, CIO, the Principal Financial Group. "Now, in less than a day from the time of the outage, our critical systems and data can be completely restored -- giving our customers peace of mind."

This solution improves recovery time by more than four days compared to the previous system and provides full connectivity for all remote sites, which was previously limited to only select sites.

The integrated IT environment at The Principal is comprised of IBM servers, disk and tape storage systems, and enterprise software. The company's data centers utilize IBM eServer zSeries mainframe servers, and IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Servers (ESS). The new infrastructure enhancements are designed to significantly reduce the potential for data loss, while reducing the amount of resources required to restore business operations in the event of a disaster. Recovery personnel requirements have been reduced by 55 percent, helping to mitigate the unavailable resources risk associated with a disaster.

"While companies have no control over the threat or the occurrence of serious weather or other natural disasters, they can control the impact of those storms on business continuity," said Terri Virnig, vice president of eServer zSeries, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "The Principal Financial Group, with the help of IBM, is now prepared when bad weather arrives."

The Principal also runs a Parallel Sysplex with IBM's DB2 Universal Database data sharing and Capacity Backup to provide for higher availability. This is critical considering they average 8.5 million transactions per day. The solution supports Group Claims processing, the nation's leading 401(k) systems, Pension, Life and Customer Relationship Management systems. Customer initiated internet transactions make up approximately a quarter of the 401(k) systems activity.

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