Simplifying backups, reducing IT management overheads*

The Alexandrina Council local government authority serves residents on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide.

Early in 2014, the Council’s IT team realised its existing backup routines were no longer providing the level of support required by
the organisation. 

While equipment and processes had evolved over a number of years, they were unable to adequately support the growing data volumes within the organisation.

“We were getting to the point early in 2014 where our backup windows were taking anywhere up to 10 or 12 hours to complete,” said Alexandrina Council’s ICT Infrastructure and Security Coordinator,
Mark Sommerville.

“We were also faced with the prospect of a hardware upgrade as our existing kit was reaching end of life.”

Determined to overcome these challenges, the Council’s IT team examined a range of options as potential replacements for the existing back-up infrastructure. 

“After evaluating a number of vendors, we found Barracuda.

“We requested a demo box and, after conducting some testing, we didn’t let it go back.”

Sommerville says the Barracuda Backup BBS890 was simple to deploy and the team had it up and running within hours. 

Initial testing was carried out with a limited number of applications and, once they were bedded down, back-up of the Council’s entire environment was shifted to the new Barracuda infrastructure.

“We are now backing up 36 terabytes of data, which comes down to around 12TB after de-duplication.

“We are also backing data up to the Barracuda cloud for another level of redundancy. 

“All this happens with minimal management overhead.”

Sommerville says back-ups of key applications are now conducted hourly, rather than daily, as had been happening in the past. 

This means users can quickly restore any lost data with minimal fuss.

“Previously they would have to go back to the last nightly backup and potentially lose an entire day’s work. 

“The new system is much more effective and helps to improve productivity.”

The Barracuda infrastructure also provides the opportunity for IT staff to monitor the status of back-ups using a tablet app. 

This means management tasks can be undertaken without the need to return to the office after hours or at weekends.

“Overall, we have been extremely happy with the way the Barracuda project has gone. 

“We know that we now have in place an effective back-up and recovery system that protects our data and gives us a clear upgrade path for the future.”

Furthermore, with the Instant Replacement Subscription Service, Barracuda provides a free hardware refresh every four years to the most current platform. This ensures the Barracuda network infrastructure stays up-to-date without any further capital expenditures.

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*Copy supplied by Barracuda