Read success stories of how customers used StorageCraft® ShadowProtect®, StorageCraft Hardware Independent Restore™ and VirtualBoot™ technologies, and StorageCraft ImageManager™ to swiftly save the day—and their systems, applications, and data.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts worldwide has more than 1,100 properties under nine different brands in 100 countries with 171,000 employees. “Currently we have removed tape across the Pacific, and we are looking to implement this now across Asia in 2014, 2015,” says Lindsay Leigh, IT director for Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, and regional IT director for Starwood Pacific Hotel.
“The objective was how quickly could we get the system up and running and 100 percent functional. This was the best solution. It was fast, easy to use, and I could train all of my IT managers very quickly around the region. I now have my 15TB backed up every 15 minutes.”
Plans are underway to migrate the 15TB to the StorageCraft cloud.
Read the full Starwood success story
Innovative Business Systems
Innovative Business Systems (IBS) is a Massachusetts-based service provider that handles an assortment of clients, including medical firms, community banks, real estate, and insurance agencies. The engineers at IBS arrived at a client’s office early one morning to handle some routine maintenance before business got started.
IBS was servicing a small business with about 15 employees who work remotely. When the IBS engineers brought the servers back up, all but one came on—it wouldn’t even boot in safe mode. The small business server had file shares to which the remote employees needed access but couldn’t until the server was back online. With the flip of a switch, more than half of the client’s workforce went dark. Luckily, IBS took backups using ShadowProtect.
“We were able to VirtualBoot [a ShadowProtect] incremental backup we took about three minutes before we shut things down,” says technical service manager Sean Benoit. “After that, we were able to implement a manual HeadStart Restore so we could get the server back over to the live infrastructure environment with no data loss.”
Read the full IBS success story
STF Consulting, based in New Jersey, is an IT management firm that provides a managed services portfolio to small and mid-sized businesses. The firm provides maintenance, monitoring, disaster recovery, and ongoing network services to customers through a managed services offering. “None of the customers we support have IT staff,” says Sean Furman, president of STF Consulting.
Furman and his company chose to support businesses with primarily Windows-based networks using Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft Office. Furman knew that in supporting networks of this type, he also needed to be able to provide disaster recovery, data protection, and migration services to his customers. He chose StorageCraft because of its reputation, and because its MSP program fit with his business model.
“It has worked out very well for us,” says Furman. “We haven’t had any failures since we’ve had StorageCraft in the equation.”
Read the full STF Consulting success story
Furman has since decided to build a 100-percent native StorageCraft solution, from backup, to data center, to recovery services. “I control the whole thing, 360 degrees, and we’re able to achieve incredible recovery times,” he says. “The speed and flexibility of ShadowProtect Server and StorageCraft ImageManager are just unparalleled.”
Read details of the STF Consulting solution
One of CAVU Networks’ clients is Northwest Care Management, a management company for several memory care and assisted living facilities. In addition to taking care of all its IT needs, CAVU also worked on a server consolidation to retire an older piece of hardware.
On a Friday afternoon, CAVU received an SMS alert from its remote monitoring tools that Northwest Care had a down server—the server containing important and irreplaceable financial records and other critical data. John Benjamin, CTO and founder of CAVU Networks in Washington state, arrived on the site to find that the server’s power supply had inexplicably failed. Benjamin was able to get the power back on and stabilized so ShadowProtect could continue taking scheduled backups. But on Sunday afternoon, the same server failed again.
Benjamin 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. He was able to get the files that the company needed by mounting a ShadowProtect backup image as a drive letter, finding the necessary files, and copying them over to Northwest Care’s remaining server, all before business opened on Monday.
“We fully migrated their file structure to the new server and re-created the shares, and they were up and running without a hitch or hiccup,” says Benjamin.
Read the full CAVU Networks success story
Domain Computer Services
Rashaad Bajwa, president and CEO of Domain Computer Services in New Jersey, estimates that 95 percent of his clients were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Thanks to ShadowProtect Server and ShadowProtect Virtual, all of his clients who needed to boot up virtual servers remotely could do so.
Bajwa was able to get a client in Lower Manhattan up and running within hours after Sandy hit. With no subways, closed tunnels, few open roads, and no gasoline, it would’ve been impossible to restore that client from a tape backup. Plus, the client’s servers were on the 37th floor, with no power and no elevators. “Disasters like Sandy are your opportunity to win clients for life,” says Bajwa. “Without tests like Sandy, clients never know how good you really are.”
Read the full Domain Computer Services success story
Rick Martin is the co-founder and VP of sales and marketing at Cat-Tec in Toronto. Martin has helped Cat-Tec grow beyond a standard break/fix consulting firm into a successful managed service provider (MSP) with a breadth of services. Martin works with a handful of small to medium-sized business clients spread across a variety of verticals.
One client is a not-for-profit organization with around 50 people. Cat-Tec takes care of all its IT needs, including remote backup and monitoring. As Cat-Tec employees concluded the organization’s maintenance for the day, their remote monitoring console alerted them to some hardware trouble in one of the client’s desktops. After running some diagnostics, they determined that the desktop hard drive had failed.
By using ShadowProtect images, they could get the client back to business over the course of a lunch break. Cat-Tec popped in the new hard drive, reimaged it with the latest ShadowProtect image, and had the unit put together and running just as it had been before the failure and only minutes after the person returned from lunch. “It was as if nothing had ever happened,” says Martin. “There was really no impact on them, they were really blown away, they expected a full day of lost productivity—really there was none.”
Read the full Cat-Tec success story
ShadowProtect is protecting all of Lion’s operational servers in Australia and New Zealand, including those at remote sites. As well as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) operations, these include file servers, print servers, virus servers. The servers also run security cameras and general security.
“Fortunately, ShadowProtect allows us to restore a crashed server in about 20 minutes,” says Sandy Pennisi, regional support leader at Lion. “ShadowProtect will restore a server to the same machine, a different one, or even a virtual environment.” At present, Lion has licensed more than 250 copies of ShadowProtect and seven licenses of ShadowProtect IT Edition.
Pennisi also has a good word for StorageCraft support. When another brewery had initial problems, he contacted local supplier XSI, a StorageCraft channel partner in Brisbane. The StorageCraft Asia-Pacific support team was able to reproduce the issue and resolved it quickly.
“We were raving about how quickly and efficiently it was all resolved,” says Pennisi. “StorageCraft delivers an excellent value proposition for protecting our SCADA, Telemetry, and Windows servers. It has really eliminated the cost, the complexity, and the pain of backing up our critical systems.”
Read the full Lion success story
Management at bedding manufacturer Sealy NZ Ltd. is sleeping more soundly at night after switching to an offsite remote disaster recovery solution that ensures no one loses more than 15 minutes of data in the event of a crash.
“We experienced the pain of potential data loss and decided we never wanted to be in that position again,” says Hugh Rockfort, director at Sealy NZ Ltd. The problem was identified during an annual IT review. Although the company’s former tape backup product was reporting successful backups, minimal data was being written to tape in a readable format. As a result, Sealy sought an alternative solution.
“We made a strategic decision to go with an organization and solution that was able to eliminate the cost and complexity of backup, file recovery, and disaster recovery,” says Rockfort. Disaster Recovery Group (DRG) in New Zealand implemented the solution using ShadowProtect software.
Multiple Sclerosis Limited
Using ShadowProtect software, Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MSL) is backing up an email archive server with 100GB of attachments to disk in 45 minutes. Compare that to the 12 hours it would take using traditional tape backup methods.
Technical team leader Shane Bryan switched to disk for the email archive server to reduce backup times and increase recoverability of the email archive server attachment volume. His team put in a new email archive server and attached this to an EMC storage area network (SAN) device, and now MSL carries out nightly backups using ShadowProtect real-time imaging (taking complete snapshots of the growing archive volume).
“If the server were to crash, the included Hardware Independent Restore technology allows us to rebuild the server completely, to the same or totally different hardware, or even a virtual environment in minutes instead of days,” says Bryan. “We even migrated an end-of-life server from a Compaq to a Dell recently, and it went without incident, which was impressive. All that was needed was a small driver update for the new hardware.”
Additionally, MSL invested in ShadowProtect to take daily backups of its Citrix and SQL servers. Doing so complements its Change Control processes and guards against potential data loss and wasted time when carrying out routine maintenance such as upgrading applications and installing patches. Using ShadowProtect, it takes an average of 15 to 20 minutes to back up the operating system volume of each server.
Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland
Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland’s (CPLQ) head office at New Farm, Brisbane, ran a competitor’s backup software to support an autoloader tape drive; backup and recovery processes were sporadic. Steven Cantle, senior network engineer, states that if the New Farm head office servers had crashed or suffered a major disaster, it could have taken weeks to reinstall servers and restore data from tape.
To eliminate this possibility, he introduced ShadowProtect Server disk-based backup and disaster recovery software, which performs incremental backups every 15 minutes. “That represents a huge benefit since it means that now we can only ever lose 15 minutes worth of work,” says Cantle.
When the disaster recovery program is complete, more than 30 additional servers at the CPLQ’s satellite offices throughout Queensland, Australia, will run ShadowProtect Server and link to the ShadowProtect server at the head office via a private network. In this way, work at remote offices will also be backed up every 15 minutes and sent to the head office.
CPLQ runs Microsoft 2008 Hyper-V virtualized environment on a high-end business grade server, which will be key to the next phase of the organization’s disaster recovery plan. When implemented, it will replicate all ShadowProtect images to an external data center.
“If head office should burn to the ground, up-to-date work and information will be available at the data center, and we will be able to remote into the MS 2008 Hyper-V environment to access everything,” says Cantle.
Charged with managing more than 54 servers and 12TB of data daily, scan data services firm Synovate Aztec in Australia needed a solution to assist it to meet Service Level Agreements (SLAs) set by its clients for its backup and recovery technology.
“We had a substantial investment in our previous backup and recovery product; however, regardless of how much money and time we invested, it quite simply failed to live up to its expectations and price tag,” says Warren Gerdes, IT manager at Synovate Aztec. “With ShadowProtect, I am confident we will never lose more than 15 minutes of data or database or Exchange emails.
“And if one of our critical production servers crashed, we could rebuild it, migrate it to dissimilar hardware, or even to a virtual environment in minutes and restore it to the exact state immediately prior to the crash. Within two weeks we had placed the order and commenced deployment to the production servers.”
Read the full Synovate Aztec success story
Leichhardt Municipal Council
Sasha Sutarov, team leader of network infrastructure at Leichhardt Municipal Council in Sydney, has used ShadowProtect for three years. At present the data loss window is four hours, due to storage constraints. But soon-to-be implemented virtualization technology and additional storage capacity will allow IT staff to reduce the maximum data loss to within one hour.
“During my time here we have had only one real drama,” says Suratov. “A server with a RAID configuration crashed when a contractor was working on it—two hard drives went down within hours. Using ShadowProtect we were able to restore the server image data overnight after we had replaced the faulty drives. Next morning everything was back online, and staff were able to continue where they left off the previous day. Although that was our only serious crash, we have to restore individual files about once or twice a week. This is where we see the true benefits of ShadowProtect, in being able to restore files within minutes without chasing our tapes.”
Before migrating to ShadowProtect, Leichhardt Municipal Council used backup-to-tape technology from various vendors for day-to-day backup, a procedure which Sasha considers to be more suitable for archival backup these days.
The authority has implemented ShadowProtect disk-based backup and disaster recovery, which has reduced data loss from a typical 18 hours in the event of a computer crash to only 15 to 30 minutes.
“What previously meant several hours’ downtime has been reduced to minutes with ShadowProtect,” says Alvaro Lozano of Rous Water Regional Water Supply in New South Wales, Australia. “We can recover an entire server on to different hardware and have it fully operational within half an hour. This represents almost immediate disaster recovery. What has impressed us most is its Hardware Independent Restore technology, which works flawlessly and adds only a few minutes to the rebuild process.”
Lozano also values the technology’s ability to test backups using integration with VMware. He can test backups with a few mouse clicks and bring up a production server into a non-production virtual environment to prove that backups have worked correctly.
Read the full Rous Water success story
Moving from a tape-based storage environment to a disk-based one has paid dividends for retirement village operator, MetLifeCare, in New Zealand. MetLifeCare had used several tape-based packages over the previous decade.
“When licensing for [our former] product was up for renewal last year, it was a good opportunity to consider a new backup system,” says Kai Sander, IT Manager at MetLifeCare.
Implementation was made easier by the fact that MetLifeCare was using VMware, and that StorageCraft and VMware are partners. But even if MetLifeCare hadn’t been a VMware site? “It wouldn’t really have mattered,” says Sander. “We would probably still have chosen StorageCraft.”
Under the new arrangement, data and key databases are backed up every quarter of an hour. “It’s proven itself when people have deleted files, and we’ve got them back within 15 minutes.”
Read the full MetLifeCare success story
Instead of taking more than a day to recover data and get back online, as it would have using its previous backup software, ShadowProtect had Oaks Hotel up and running again within two hours. Business disruption was minimal.
“The sheer size of our system after we centralized demanded that we used a backup solution that was easier to use and restored files faster,” says Bryn Solly, IT general manager at Oaks Hotels and Resorts Ltd. “ShadowProtect is much faster than our previous solution—up to twice as fast depending on configurations—and better for our business needs.”
The Oaks Group has 40 ShadowProtect Server licenses protecting file servers, print servers, SQL clusters, and an Exchange cluster as well as Citrix servers and general servers. Solly introduced ShadowProtect after using it in a previous job.
Madison Financial Group
Madison Financial Group, which uses Australia-based IT Manager on Demand (ITMD) as its outsourced IT provider, used ShadowProtect to migrate a networked system to new hardware. Madison Financial Group has a four-server environment, so ITMD swapped information on two servers to the other two and upgraded the two down servers before imaging the information back to them. Then they upgraded the other two servers in a similar way.
“To upgrade the four servers and do all upgrades took two days. It would have been impossible to do this without ShadowProtect. We would have had to rebuild in what could have been a three-week project,” says Sean Bloch ITMD technician. “The HIR [Hardware Independent Restore] technology is a life-saver and, we believe, critical for any recovery technology.
“StorageCraft includes HIR as standard. StorageCraft’s HIR is easy, fast, and rock solid. HIR has the ability to add new drivers on the fly and uses a genuine Microsoft-based recovery environment, which we believe is important if you are restoring a Microsoft Windows server.”
ShadowProtect came to the rescue when a server at Aruze Gaming suffered a motherboard crash. Aruze’s service provider, IT Manager on Demand (ITMD) in Australia, took the server to its office and managed to swap a ShadowProtect image across to a different hardware platform inside of two hours.
When the motherboard was replaced a week later, the role-swapping process was repeated in reverse. The operation took two hours for each server and, since it took place at night, Aruze Gaming lost no processing time.
“ShadowProtect HIR [Hardware Independent Restore] makes hardware migrations a trivial process and eliminates stress from us and our customers,” says Sean Bloch, ITMD technician. “It makes us more efficient and has enabled us to deliver even higher levels of service to our customers. The ability to restore an Exchange, SQL, or SharePoint server in minutes back to its exact state as of 15 minutes ago is incredible.”