Success Story: CAVU Networks

CAVU
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The Tools

Transferring data can be difficult, but for a quality IT professional with the right tools, it’s simple to make sure that new hardware works following a transfer, and that new equipment has all the necessary data intact. Having a robust backup and recovery solution can allay threats both large and small and allow you to recover bits of information regardless of size, while also giving you complete access and control of your critical data.

There are a variety of reasons why you may need to move data from one piece of hardware to another whether it’s an upgrade, for data management, for consolidation, and so forth, but there’s one reason that’s not as easy to prepare for:  failure.

According to Microsoft Research, a hard disk that has one failure is 30 percent more likely to have a second, and with server failure costing around 26.5 billion annually, it’s important to make sure you’re covered.

The Professional 

John Benjamin, CTO and founder of CAVU Networks, is an IT professional with the right tools. One of his clients is Northwest Care Management, a management company for several memory care and assisted living facilities. In addition to taking care of all their IT needs, Cavu was also working on a server consolidation to retire an older piece of hardware.

The Issue

Before the plan to transplant data to a new server could be implemented, something went wrong.

On a Friday afternoon, CAVU received an SMS alert from their remote monitoring tools that Northwest Care had a down server—the server containing important and irreplaceable financial records and other critical data. Armed with his IT toolkit, John raced to the scene.

He arrived on the site to find that the server’s power supply had inexplicably failed without warning. John was able to get the power back on and stabilized so ShadowProtect could continue taking scheduled backups.

Satisfied with his work, John went home and settled into his weekend, fully confident in the integrity of his ShadowProtect backup images.

But while playing with his children on Sunday afternoon, he received another SMS alert from his monitoring console. The same server had failed again.

Gearing up once more, John set out to solve the issue. Letting himself into the offices of Northwest Care, John found that, not surprisingly, the server’s power supply had failed once again. Assured that this server could no longer be trusted, John decided it was time to replace it. Since the replacement was intended to be part of the migration plan scheduled for later in the year, the timing couldn’t have been better. Armed with ShadowProtect, the process went underway.

The Solution

Using StorageCraft ShadowProtect, John was able to copy the files that the company needed by mounting the ShadowProtect backup image as a drive letter, finding the necessary files, and simply copying them over to Northwest Care’s remaining server. As John explains,

It was quite simple to use the backup image that we had to copy the files that this company needed to recreate the shares and to recreate them onto the existing server—it was a no-brainer for us, we mounted the backup as a drive letter, copied the proper folders and reset read-only bits. We had them back up and running without much incident in a day if anything.

CAVU was able to get Northwest Care up and running before they opened again that Monday.

When they arrived at work on Monday morning, there was an email and a voice mail from me describing what had happened and where they could find their files. Services such as scanning and printer management were completed over the next day. We fully migrated their file structure to the new server and recreated the shares and they were up and running without a hitch or hiccup.

Transplants aren’t easy, but by having data insurance like ShadowProtect, and a handful of other tools, John Benjamin succeeded in moving the necessary data over to a different server quickly, without any data loss, and before NorthWest Care noticed an issue,

Having the ability to mount the backup as a file-system gave us great flexibility and extra time to plan and execute the restore cleanly and without disturbing them during business hours.

ShadowProtect: More than Just Recovery

John doesn’t just use ShadowProtect to handle data transfers from server to server; it’s also a valuable tool for many of his other IT needs as well.

Reimaging

When hardware needs to be updated, it can be difficult to re-install various legacy applications and reset different personal or admin settings and preferences on a client’s computer. That’s why John often uses ShadowProtect to reimage machines onto new hardware. Recently, John had a client’s desktop computer that showed signs of drive corruption in the OS partition,

We were successful in taking an image of the disk, and we were successful in getting the image to mount as a drive on an existing piece of hardware, so we will replace the hard drives and reimage it with the image we took and then run a repair from Windows and I fully expect that machine to be back up and running as if nothing ever happened.

Upgrade Testing

Upgrading systems can be a hassle, especially if something goes wrong during the process. John also uses ShadowProtect to test server upgrades virtually to ensure that they will go as planned when the real upgrade takes place. While attempting to upgrade a server equipped with Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 to the 2011 edition, John was able to test the upgrade virtually using ShadadowProtect images,

When we were working on that migration we took a snapshot using the IT edition of the 2003 server and we were able to test the migration of physical to virtual and then test the migration all the way through before we implemented it. It was tremendous, saved us lots of time, and made us all feel comfortable that if we messed up we could go back.

Conclusion

It’s important to have the right person with the right knowledge take care of your computer systems. You need to be confident in your backup and disaster recovery solution provider as well as your IT professional since losing precious data can be costly to a business, especially those with patient records.

The right IT doctor will make sure you’ve got reliable software like ShadowProtect as part of your business continuity plan so you can rest assured that your IT needs are taken care of, even in an emergency.

About CAVU Networks

CAVU Networks take their name from an aviation/meteorological acronym meaning ceilings absolute and visibility unlimited—a  term used to describe the skies as clear and blue, “we try to use it to demystify the cloud,” explains John Benjamin, CTO and founder.

CAVU Networks is an independently owned, four person operation that has provided managed services to Bainbridge Island, Seattle, and Poulsbo areas of Washington since 2004. Their goal is to provide dependable computer support to businesses interested in increasing efficiency and their bottom lines. CAVU handles data backup, cloud services, IT consulting and more for businesses varying from protein science biotechnology, pediatric offices and law firms to memory care and elderly facilities.

CAVU Networks has been a StorageCraft partner since 2008 and uses ShadowProtect for more than just backup and disaster recovery, they’ve also used it for successful system migrations, upgrading to new operating systems, reimaging CPUs after replacing hard drives, and more.

 

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Casey Morgan

Casey Morgan

Casey Morgan is the marketing content specialist at StorageCraft. U of U graduate and lover of words, his experience lies in construction and writing, but his approach to both is the same: start with a firm foundation, build a quality structure, and then throw in some style. If he’s not arguing about comma usage or reading, you'll likely find him and his Labrador hiking, biking, or playing outdoors -- he's even known to strum a few chords by the campfire.

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