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British Red Cross Wards off More Disasters with Backup Technology Powered by Asigra

October 2010 by Marc Jacob

Asigra, a backup and recovery software provider since 1986, announced the success of the work undertaken through partner Backup Technology, with the British Red Cross; the non-profit organisation implemented Asigra Cloud Backup to modernise and centralise its data protection strategy across the board. For the British Red Cross, famed for its global work in areas including health and social care, emergency response and first aid, Disaster Recovery (DR) is a priority, facilitating its ability to carry out vital work nonstop. The charity runs projects across the UK to help find missing people, to provide emergency services and to implement educational programmes such as first aid courses and humanitarian education. In addition the British Red Cross has so far helped more than 500,000 people affected by the floods in Pakistan and over 400,000 casualties of the Haitian earthquake.

Following Backup Technology’s recommendation the British Red Cross selected Asigra Cloud Backup to address a number of challenges, namely that its data protection infrastructure was becoming increasingly problematic because backup at the headquarters was exceeding the allocated window even when backing up each server to multiple tape drives. As a result, recovery times were too long and the protection of remote servers was also a significant issue. Because of the absence of senior IT professionals at the branch offices, the backup tapes were not managed effectively and this often resulted in logistical issues when data needed to be recovered. DR for remote office server data was therefore identified as a concern that needed to be prioritised and addressed.

Asigra Cloud Backup, a band-width efficient, disk-based, block-level incremental approach to backup, provided the necessary technology to support a centralised strategy from the remote offices. This was a priority for the British Red Cross, as it protects against data loss from causes such as flood or fire. Client-side deduplication reduced its requirements and the amount of disk space necessary at the central DS-System vault site. Another great benefit is the significant reduction in recovery time, which has gone from 24 hours to 45 minutes. ‘Because the Asigra price is based on the amount of compressed disk storage capacity required by the backup system, this space-efficient approach helped minimise the cost of the software, a factor of great importance for a non-profit organisation,’ said Ritchie Fiddes, Sales Director at Backup Technology.

Since the start, this project has met and exceeded all its goals: the local offices eliminated tape support requirements with the central site managing the entire process and the associated data. Moving to a disk-based approach has allowed the IT team to stay well within its backup windows, accelerate its data recovery speed, and it now allow the existing staff to the management the backup process even as the number of servers and the amount of data continues to grow.

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