The Challenge: Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. is one of the world's foremost forensic engineering and consulting firms. Headquartered in Houston, with 48 offices across the U.S. and Europe, they work with insurance companies, law firms, corporations, government agencies and individuals to help them understand issues and resolve claims and disputes. Servers at each office location contain sizeable amounts of data that must be safely stored and backed up on a regular basis to the company’s central server in Houston. The company is in the midst of transitioning its base of operations from Houston to Dallas while inversely moving their DR site to Houston.
Before using DATASTOR Shield™, Rimkus backed up all the data from its offices across the country either to disks on local servers or to tape drives. The data sets at these remote locations were growing so large that the company could no longer back them up efficiently on tape drives. They also didn’t feel that local disk backups were safe enough. IT administrators were relying on local staff at all the offices across the country to complete backups, which was difficult to manage. Additionally, the backups got so large that they could not be completed in a 12-hour window.
Rimkus tried other software solutions for backups, but they didn’t work well for the remote sites while being controlled from the main office in Houston. Additionally, anytime there was an interruption in the WAN, the backup process couldn’t tolerate the interruption and technicians would have to start the backup over from the beginning.
The company needed an easy, reliable, fast way to back up the data at all remote locations across the country from its headquarters currently in Houston.
The Solution: After evaluating several products, Rimkus selected DATASTOR Shield™ Enterprise Protection Server (EPS). The DATASTOR Shield™ product enables Rimkus to complete efficient, timely backups of large data sets from all remote locations. The product would also help the company with its upcoming central office relocation from Houston to Dallas, and replicating the company’s disaster recovery site from Dallas to Houston.
The Results: Rimkus can now complete efficient, timely backups of remote servers. DATASTOR’s patented “source-based” deduplication technology allows Rimkus to complete backups of large data sets quickly by transferring only new and changed data over the network rather than complete files. The installation process on Rimkus’ machines was ideal, as system administrators could create scheduled tasks using the DATASTOR Shield™ Archive Manager at the company’s main office which initiates an agentless install of a lightweight client process on all servers at remote sites across the country. The process was simple and didn’t require any special infrastructure modifications or hardware. The initial backup to the primary “store” location in Houston was accomplished using portable NAS devices. An initial seeding backup using the local NAS devices was completed at each of the remote sites and then delivered to headquarters in Houston. The backups were then copied to the primary store. The process was “super simple.” Subsequently remote backups completed every day at each remote location are managed from the management server in Houston. Easy to read Check-up Reports are emailed to system administrators each morning confirming with a quick glance success of backups and other maintenance tasks or alerting administrators to any problems.
Once the datacenter transition between Dallas and Houston is complete, administrators will schedule daily store copy tasks to replicate backup data between the two sites providing a fully redundant set of data for disaster recovery. Just like the daily backups, only new and changed data is transferred over the network during the replication process.
Rimkus is also pleased with DATASTOR’s pricing, particularly for virtual servers, and that there are no higher charges for storing large amounts of data with the DATASTOR Shield™ Enterprise product. Additionally, Rimkus IT technicians are impressed with DATASTOR’s quality and timeliness of support case response, and say the support is similar to what a customer would expect from a much larger company.
Another “huge plus” was the built-in bandwidth throttling feature as many other solutions can’t offer this functionality. Rimkus has bandwidth throttling configured at all remote locations in case the backup goes beyond the normal backup window. When this happens only a small portion of network bandwidth is allocated for the backup, allowing business operations to continue normally. Small interruptions in the WAN do not disturb the backup. Even when the WAN goes down for longer periods of time the backup quickly picks up where it left off.