Case Study: ConnexOntario migrates seamlessly from tape backups to the cloud and implements a fully tested DR plan with Stage2Data’s expertise

ConnexOntario provides free and confidential health services information for people experiencing substance abuse issues, mental illness or gambling addiction. With data at the very core of the organisation, backing up critical systems and data has always been critically important.

Using leading-edge technology, ConnexOntario provides hope, early help and a human voice 24 hours per day to all individuals seeking information on various health aids.

The company’s vision is to deliver the most helpful, visible, agile and comprehensive system information for the people of Ontario, serving as the flagship organization in helping people and organizations connect with the health and human services in their area.

The challenge – Backing up critical data 

After using tape backups for many years, Stuart Crawford, Senior Systems Administrator at ConnexOntario, realised it was time to move to the cloud. After intensive research for the most suitable cloud service provider, he discovered that Zerto would meet their organization’s Disaster Recovery-as-a-ServiceDRaaS requirements. In turn, Stage2Data came highly recommended as Zerto’s preferred Canadian DRaaS service provider.

“The onboarding with Stage2Data was smooth, and in collaborating with their in-house experts, Stephen Pyott, VP of Sales, and Jon Darling, Senior National Account Manager, we forged a long-lasting partnership. What truly impressed ConnexOntario was Stage2Data’s attentive approach—listening to our requirements and delivering a tailored plan and solution without pressure, overselling, or misleading.”

– Stuart Crawford, Senior Systems Administrator at ConnexOntario

The solution – DR plan with minimal fail over time

Since Stage2Data came on board as DRaaS partner at ConnexOntario in 2013, their System Administration team has had better peace of mind and managing their backups and disaster recovery is hassle-free. 

Zerto, one of Stage2Data’s key technology partners and disaster recovery offering, was utilised to create and implement a proper cloud DR solution. They also played a pivotal role in assisting with migrating from tape backups to the Cloud – a fully flexible solution which is both cost effective and much easier to manage. 

“We contacted Stage2Data to assist with a routine failover test of our disaster recovery solution, and they immediately responded. One of their technical support engineers logged in remotely. With the click of a few buttons using Zerto’s interface, he launched a fully operational replication site in Stage2Data’s remote data center. After verifying that all data and processes were running as expected in the remote location, we switched back over to our primary site. This process took only a few minutes to complete but gave me and my team confidence and peace of mind. It is great to know we are completely covered in case of an unwanted disaster or even data loss.”

– Stuart Crawford

Stage2Data has proven to be more than just a third-party backup service provider; it is a trusted partner willing to share expert advice and direction.


Since Stage2Data came on board as ConnexOntario’s backup and disaster recovery partner, they have almost fully migrated to the cloud. Now, having 15 virtual machines backing up approximately 4TB of data remotely, they still have one tape server used for archiving. They plan on moving to an onsite backup appliance. “We are very happy with this partnership and are looking forward to many more great years with Stage2Data,” Stuart Crawford