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PCC Community Markets' Strategic Approach to Disaster Recovery with TierPoint

PCC Community Markets fortifies its environment to enhance resilience against cybersecurity threats and minimize downtime - ensuring its fresh food mission.



PCC Community Markets, the largest natural food cooperative in the United States, serves over 110,000 members with 15 storefront locations in the greater Seattle area. As an organization with between 1,600 and 1,700 employees and such a large local footprint, PCC knows it’s important to set a precedent for other co-ops. One way they have decided to do this is by employing robust disaster capabilities (DR) with the help of TierPoint.


While PCC has been around for over 70 years with sustainability at the center, they’re no stranger to growing pains. As sales and membership numbers increased, PCC knew that their on-premises disaster recovery (DR) environment, built with repurposed equipment, wouldn’t be enough to adequately protect their IT infrastructure. The co-op knew that they’d become a more visible target for potential cybersecurity attacks as they grew. This, paired with the increase in cyberattacks overall, made looking for a resilient DR solution a priority.

PCC knew they wanted to implement a highly resilient DR solution, but managing it internally was not feasible with their current resource capacity.


PCC had to decide between a self-managed disaster recovery (DR) solution or engaging a third-party partner for a comprehensive, managed DR solution. Initial conversations were conducted directly with Zerto, a prominent provider of replication technology, to explore the feasibility of implementing a self-managed Zerto solution. However, given their standing as a TierPoint data center customer since 2017, PCC sought guidance from TierPoint experts. Following these consultations, they strategically chose to embrace a fully managed Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution with Zerto replication, facilitated by TierPoint.

Working with a fully managed solution took a significant burden off of PCC. “If you’re in a panicked situation, it’s good to have a team of experts that do this [disaster recovery] all the time,” said Mary Beutjer, the Director of Information Security and Infrastructure at PCC Community Markets.

Zerto replication technology allows for near-instantaneous data replication and failover, and TierPoint’s managed services team can minimize downtime and recovery effort for PCC. The new site PCC chose is in Kansas, a region far enough from Seattle to not be affected by possible geographic disasters – earthquakes, flooding, etc


While PCC faces no specific regulatory mandates concerning the establishment of a Disaster Recovery (DR) environment, the cooperative, operating in the retail sector, supporting a large member base, and processing credit and debit card payments, recognized the imperative to mitigate organizational risks. Following an internal assessment of existing capabilities and capacity, the decision was made to pursue a more robust approach, prompting TierPoint to assume a pivotal role in addressing these concerns.

To confirm the preparedness of the Disaster Recovery (DR) environment, TierPoint guided PCC through a comprehensive rehearsal drill (test) before the solution was considered active. The next rehearsal is slated for the upcoming quarter, and subsequently, annual rehearsals will be carried out to instill further confidence in the solution. These exercises are designed to ensure that PCC can swiftly recover and continue operating in the event of a disaster.

Introducing Disaster Recovery (DR) measures can pose challenges due to personnel time constraints. PCC sought collaboration with DR experts capable of supporting internal team members and optimizing their workflow. The implementation and management provided by TierPoint made all the difference in helping PCC achieve its disaster recovery goals. “If we had tried to put this all together ourselves, that wouldn’t have happened,” said Beutjer. “The rollout was very professional, and clearly the team is very experienced. That’s what we needed.”

PCC expressed satisfaction with TP's adeptness in adhering to the schedule, and the implementation was bolstered by the expertise and strength of their resources. The PCC Board was pleased that the aggressive timelines were successfully met.

For the second year in a row, TierPoint has been named the Managed Service Provider (MSP) of the Year by Zerto. Clients who choose to work with TierPoint can benefit from these deep partnerships with key vendors.

Being able to provide fresh food daily, even in the event of a disaster, is PCC’s mission. TierPoint’s managed Disaster Recovery solution helps PCC focus on that mission. To learn about what it might mean to invest in robust DR solutions at your organizations, contact us today.

At A Glance

Food and Grocery

Colocation for production servers - Seattle region
Disaster recovery, multitenant cloud, and data storage - Kansas region

As PCC’s membership grew to over 110,00 members and 15 storefront locations, they wanted to find a disaster recovery solution that could adequately protect their clients, while not burdening their IT team of 18 people.

PCC has been a TierPoint data center client since 2017. In 2023, they added managed Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) with Zerto replication.

With disaster recovery measures now in place, PCC has enhanced its cyber protection, reduced stress on its IT team, and ensured faster recovery if (really, when) a disruption happens.


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