After tape backup failed Asigra’s online backup delivered the goods
Accountancy firm A. Desaur & Co. of Hampton, Middlesex, England, has not been lucky. In April last year a server failure and resulting backup problem resulted in 20 percent of its data becoming lost. An accountancy firm has huge amounts of detailed historical information about its clients. Such a loss was devastating.
The firm, with IT supplied by Qualitas-IT, changed to an Asigra online backup product. In October last year a Windows update to a serbver went wrong and the server crashed. Oops! It nearly lost its data again. Fortunately the Asigra product did its stuff and the data was recoverable.
A Desaur & Co was established in 1995, offering a comprehensive range of services to individuals and businesses to assist with financial and accounting requirements. As well as dealing with all aspects of bookkeeping, accounting, auditing, taxation and company secretarial requirements, the aims to provide the added benefit of working alongside clients to help them achieve more of their business potential.
Originally Desaur & Co. was backing up to a local tape drive with the help of a previous IT supoport company. The backup-restore routine had never actually been tested properly. When the time came to restore the missing data after the April server crash much of it was simply not available. The backups had been useless. So too had the IT support firm.
The problem wasn’t the tape drive and medium per se, or the backup and restore software either. It was that the responsible IT support firem had simply assumed everything was okay without actually checking it; very careless and irresponsible. The effective result though was that Desaur was ready to move away from tape and away from that backup product.
Because of the crash Desaur permanently lost some of its valuable historical data (accounts preparation) and work in progress (book keeping). One of its clients was another IT support company, Qualitas-IT. It is an IT support company which provides IT business solutions for small to mid-sized companies in the City of London and the West End. The firm told Desaur that there was a better way to safeguard its data; one using Asigra’s Televaulting software inside a service Qualitas-IT offered, called RESTOR-ME.
“OK”, Desaur in effect said, “Can you take over?”
Qualitas-IT did. Its RESTOR-ME service uses vaulting space at 17 Viatel secure locations around the globe. Backup data is stored in multiple data centres so that, if one goes down the data is still recoverable.
At the Desaur offices, a single RESTOR-ME DS-Client discovers all servers (File Server, Exchange Server and Database Server containing accounts preparation software, MYOB’s Viztopia, and book-keeping software, Sage), desktops and laptops connected to the local network, and automates the backup of all local data assets.
Agents are not installed on machines being backed up. Before the backup data set is transmitted to Restor-Me UK Ltd’s data centres, the primary one in Bracknell and the replicated one in London docklands (Telehouse), the software analyses the data, finds new and changed file blocks, eliminates duplicate files and blocks of files and further compresses the residual bytes to ensure the backup set is as compact as possible.
The software then encrypts the data before sending it over an IP- WAN connection to a centralised RESTOR-ME DS-System server, located in Restor-Me UK Ltd’s primary data centre, which consolidates the backup data. Data is encrypted both in-flight and at-rest.
The service also includes Asigra’s BLM (Backup Lifecycle Management) automated archiving service. Data is automatically taken out of primary storage into a more cost-effective longer term storage medium after a certain amount of time (a maximum of 60 days), once it is less critical to the daily running of the business.
Asigra Televaulting for Service Providers supports a broad range of platforms, including Windows, Linux, Unix, Novell, AS/400 and Macintosh, and protects Oracle, SQL Server, VMware and Exchange Server data. Back-end DS-System software runs on Solaris, Linux and Windows.
Alka Desaur, founder of A Desaur & Co, saidd: “After experiencing the loss of valuable data to our accounting business, we realise how important it is to make sure we can actually recover lost data that is backed up. With Qualitas-IT’s deployment of Asigra’s online backup and recovery software, which also backs up our laptops whenever we connect to the network, we now have the peace of mind that even if our server fails and wipes all the data, we can immediately begin remotely restoring all of the data to our systems from any location to which it is safely backed up every day.”
“We now realise that the most important thing to us is the information on our computers, not the computer hardware itself.” Well, yes.
Eran Farajun, an Asigra EVP, offered this thought: “The way our technology is architected gives resellers and managed service providers, such as Restore-Me UK and Qualitas-IT, the flexibility to serve companies of any size. The solution can be deployed centrally and doesn’t require proprietary agent-based software licenses, so adding new locations and servers to a backup solution is hassle-free and much less costly for the service providers and end-users.”
“The software is designed to be compatible with all platforms and to expand as a business grows without the need for interference, resulting in ease-of-use and ease-of-deployment.”
What now happens is that Desaur pays its IT support money and knows, really knows, that its data is safe and recoverable. The October Windows server update crash proved it. That peace of mind is worth an awful lot to it.