Feb 15 2016

Firm's Virtual Backup Solution Helps It Develop a 'Crash Plan'

Companies are taking varied approaches to backup and recovery, whether in-house, in the cloud or with flash disk arrays.

Backup has become increasingly important to companies that need data protection tools to support virtualized environments and provide recovery capabilities to anchor a disaster recovery plan.

Jason Dittmer, director of technology for the Sandbox Group, says the advertising and marketing company divides its backup between an in-house version of Veeam and CrashPlan, Code42’s cloud-based offering.

The staff uses these two products to manage data for the company’s employees at its Chicago headquarters and Los Angeles office. Dittmer formerly worked at GA Communication Group, which formed Sandbox with several other agencies in 2013. As part of building IT support services for Sandbox, Dittmer plans to roll out the Veeam and Code42 combination he used for the Chicago and LA offices to Sandbox’s six other offices later this year.

Veeam backs up Sandbox’s virtual servers, including those for accounting, project management, printing, remote desktop services and two web servers. CrashPlan backs up the company’s file servers and its desktop systems.

Dittmer says both products offer overall speed and response time that the company never had before. He also says the deduplication feature in Veeam provides more efficient use of disk space, another important consideration.

“With our rising data needs, there’s no way we could back up all that data to tape,” he adds. “Another big benefit is that it lets us respond more quickly when an issue comes up. We recently were hit with a virus and had to restore a whole file share for our accounting department. It was much faster than the tape solution.”

Jason Buffington, a principal analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group, says most backup tools now support virtualized environments and no longer require the hand coding they did in the past.

“We’re at a point where, for about 99 percent of the applications, there’s no longer any reason to write scripts,” Buffington says. “Without question, your backup solution today should be able to back up virtual machines, and come with embedded technology to back up VMs.”

Developing a Diversified Backup Solution

Steven Tucker, CIO at Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, a law firm based in Englewood, Colo., also takes a diversified approach, but it’s a little different.

Tucker backs up all of the firm’s virtual desktop infrastructure data to flash disk arrays from Tegile. He then uses another backup product for the firm’s virtual machines.

Burg Simpson went with flash disk arrays because it needs to back up and store 35 terabytes of data for its offices in Englewood, Cincinnati, Phoenix and Cody, Wyo. Tucker says the deduplication feature in Tegile delivers a disk space savings of 48 to 55 percent.

“Basically, the tape system took too long,” he says. “Now, we are looking at backups of about one terabyte an hour.”

By using a mix of solutions, companies report they can run backups in virtual environments, take advantage of deduplication to utilize disk space more efficiently and migrate away from legacy tape systems.


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