Construction equipment supplier CablePrice is pretty happy now back-up over the internet allows for automation.
The company, whose staff are spread across seven remote offices, uses a daily Backup-over-Wire offering from Revera.
Previously, the company’s IT staff had no way of guaranteeing that critical data had been backed up. Back-up tapes could be tallied and checked, but questions about completeness and accuracy remained.
CablePrice IT manager Barry Buchanan says the problem could be as simple as staff forgetting to change back-up tapes or missing head office tape collection deadlines.
“Critical processes like back up should minimise human contact — they should be self-managed by machines,” Price says.
CablePrice looked at building its own remote datacentre for back-up and recovery, but, after deciding this would cost too much, sought a specialist provider that still allowed it to control its own data.
Revera’s Backup-Over-Wire service connects CablePrice’s seven offices and 14 servers, via Ethernet, to Revera’s Type R VDC (Virtual Data Centre) — a hosting platform that provides computing infrastructure using scaleable, ready-build zones sharing common security and support blankets. The service automates daily back-ups, relieving CablePrice’s staff of the task, and creates a single pool of production-environment storage that can be accessed via a simple interface.
Now, instead of the frustrating daily manual back-up task, CablePrice’s information is backed up automatically to a storage area network at Revera’s datacentre, in Tawa, Wellington. Nightly incremental back-ups are executed automatically after hours, via a 30Mbit/s CityLink connection. A fortnight’s worth of data remains staged to disk and can be accessed by CablePrice staff. Data is also vaulted daily to tape, to meet business data-retention requirements for duplicate offsite copies.
Revera says CablePrice’s data can be retrieved within minutes, without the need to locate and find tape media, or first establish back-up infrastructure. This significantly reduces recovery-time objectives and simplifies disaster recovery. As importantly, CablePrice retains the flexibility to self-manage back-ups, restores, monitoring and reporting.
The system makes CablePrice immune to almost any disaster, while giving the company retrieval of information within minutes — as if it were kept downstairs in the company safe. The headaches and costs of maintaining tape back-up infrastructure are now gone. Hardware and maintenance costs have gone too, as has reliance on staff to execute tape back-ups.
Only when data-lifecycle management is fully automated can it truly support the business. Now, reliable information management and associated management costs are seen as operational rather than capital costs, says Buchanan.
“We know cost is a solid number each month and we can almost predict how much money we need to spend on more capacity. There’s security in knowing that our data can be recovered and restored in almost every scenario.”