Daly International - Backup Case Study

Daly International is a business who had a backup solution in place for many years which they identified was no longer suitable, as the business had changed over the years and had grown significantly.

They decided that the backup strategy had to change to keep pace with the rest of the business, and decided to call Datek in to assist with the design and implementation of a new system. 

 

Approach

Datek met with Daly International and agreed to undertake an assessment of the current backup strategy in order to provide feedback on ways in which it could be improved. We presented these findings face to face to demonstrate the risks the current approach posed to the business as well as offering some high-level guidance on what solutions were now available.  

 

Previous Backup Solution

Due to the sheer size of the data the business has, the current backup solution was under immense strain, full virtual systems backups could only be taken at weekends with only key data being backed up on weekdays. 

 

The Result...

A combination of different strategies was employed with different software solutions protecting different parts of the environment. This complexity increased the IT administration overhead and in the event of a major problem, multiple backup systems would need to be used to get the company back on its feet. 

Daly International is committed to providing an excellent service to its customers and knew that investment was required in order to protect the business before something happened which it couldn’t recover from. 

 

Finding a Solution

Requirements Workshop

In an ideal world, a set of requirements and budget would be available for such a project and a solution would be designed. This is often not the case as many businesses don't know what's possible and how much different solutions may cost.  

We arranged a meeting with Steve Rance who is responsible for IT within the business and spent some time discussing the different options available at a non-technical level, giving some ballpark pricing so they could make an educated decision about what was right for them in terms of solution and cost.

They found this process invaluable as for the first time they were involved in the process rather than just being sent a quote with a list of parts and prices on it.  They took an active role in telling us what they wanted and worked with our consultant to design a tailored solution for them based on the specific requirements of their business and not just a vanilla off the shelf solution.  As Daly International are a support client with Datek, we provide solution design workshops at no cost as part of our managed service, we feel that it’s important that we work with our clients to design and implement key systems and we don’t want costly consultancy to be a barrier to this happening.

Steve Rance, IT Manager, Daly International 

"Datek took the time to fully understand our requirements so we received a bespoke solution which perfectly matched our needs."

 

Requirement

Daly International are a professional services business who have vast amounts of plans, photos and documents which need to be protected. The requirements were simple but currently not being addressed: 

  • A full backup of everything every day at a minimum
  • A copy of all systems replicated in a remote location every day
  • A tape backup every day which contained an entire copy of all the business systems
  • Recover entire systems in minutes not days
  • Recover individual file, email and database components in minutes
  • Ability to test backups properly, not just via basic verification
  • Get quick and effective software support from the partner and vendor in the event of any problems 

 

Solution 

The software solution able to deliver all of this and more was Veeam Backup & replication. Now on v8 with v9 being released any day, Veeam has a proven track record in the industry for reliability, excellent support and constant development, with new features being made available free of charge as they become available to existing customers.  We proposed a solution which enabled all of the requirements to be met and gave Daly International several options for capacity and long term retention and actively worked with them to tailor the precise solution which was agreed on almost immediately. 

 

Solution Implementation Approach 

With any business which has internal IT resource we always prefer to work with them to implement solutions so that they are actively involved and understand the solution.  There would be nothing worse than someone making a wholesale change to your systems and then just handing you the keys and expecting you to look after it.  Therefore we agreed with them that the entire implementation would be done onsite alongside Steve Rance, with our consultants walking Steve through every step and explaining it thoroughly along the way. 

Steve Rance, IT Manager, Daly International 

"Datek worked alongside me to implement the solution. Veeam was a new product for me and working in this way means that I now have a very good understanding of how the product works."

 

Solution Testing

Once implementation was complete we didn’t stop there, we insisted that it was thoroughly tested and we don’t mean just restoring a few files!  We insisted that a full restore of an entire virtual machine was carried to some free storage.

Initially, we used Veeam’s instant VM recovery feature which enables the restored machine to run directly from the backup server. This took less than 5 minutes and the virtual machine was fully booted up and on the login screen, then while it was powered up we migrated it to production storage in minutes.  It passed this test without fault, so we wanted to test a more granular restore.

This time we asked Steve to delete an unwanted email from his mailbox, then using Veeams Exchange Explorer, we browsed the mailboxes available in the backup and restored the mail item straight back to his mailbox, again this process took minutes.  We carried out a number of other tests and all of them worked flawlessly, the client was shocked that restores could be made so easily and completed so quickly.

Steve Rance, IT Manager, Daly International 

"I was astonished at the speed at which we could recover servers and individual items. I have full confidence in the system and if we ever need to restore anything for real, I know it won't let me down."

 

Confidence in the Solution 

Confidence in any solution should not be overlooked, yet many businesses are worried about carrying out restores of key systems, after all it’s not something you do every day and we often find that staff will spend hours/days trying to fix broken systems because they’re not comfortable with the backup solution and not even sure if it will work when they need it. 

The level of engagement we have when implementing solutions and the thorough approach to testing means that there is a high level of confidence in the solution.  So there will be no apprehension should the backup ever need to be relied on, Daly International will know that if systems can’t be fixed quickly, that they can rely on their backup solution not letting them down when they push the button.

Steve Rance, IT Manager, Daly International 

“We have been extremely impressed with our experience of Datek replacing our complicated legacy backup solution which we felt was no longer suitable for the business, the solution chosen was Veeam Backup & Replication.  All stages of the process, from design, specification, implementation and testing, have been completely customer focused and painless.  An excellent service from start to finish, where they go ‘above and beyond’ to not only meet expectations but exceed them.”

Would you like help to find a backup solution that works for your business? Get in touch with Datek: Email or call us on (0)1753 540000 

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