Effective data security and information management is a challenge for every company, regardless of size. Even for a small business operating from a single location, ensuring that consistent backups are happening on schedule can require significant coordination and manual effort from IT staff. Without a rock-solid backup routine, the integrity of the entire backup process, and all of the company’s data, is questionable. For a large entity like Andritz, which has more than 25,000 employees spread across 200 work sites across the globe, relying on a patchwork of local backup strategies simply didn’t work. Using Druva Phoenix, Andritz was able to simplify their backup strategy, saving time and effort, as well as ensuring the security of company data.
Andritz has nearly 20 separate legal entities in North America — each with their own separate process. A global IT group sets policies and standards which then need to be implemented by regional IT teams. For a company of this scale, the challenge of coordinating a data backup and security protocol is a tremendous technical and logistical feat.
Overseeing that effort is Brian Bagwell, Andritz’s North American director of IT. He has responsibility for 55 to 60 offices, and visibility is one of his greatest challenges. “Because of the sheer number of offices that we support, we have to rely on locals in the business to manage our backups for us because we don’t have IT guys in every location,” Bagwell says, adding that making sure that backups are actually completed is difficult without dedicated IT staff in every office.“The challenges we faced were ‘Did the backups even run?’” noting that “We’ve been bitten one too many times because of that.”
Because of the sheer number of offices that we support, we have to rely on locals in the business to manage our backups for us because we don’t have IT guys in every location. – Brian Bagwell, Andritz’s North American director of IT
Prior to implementing Druva Phoenix, individual Andritz offices were backing up using tape-based systems, which can be cumbersome — especially for smaller offices without onsite IT support. The old systems required rotating tapes and manually verifying that backups had run in the first place. Bagwell says, “In some locations [the tapes] were being taken offsite. Sometimes they would go in the fireproof safe, sometimes they would go to offsite storage. There was no standard storage location for these tapes.”
Without standards in place, data security was hard to maintain. “Where are these tapes when you need them? Are they in somebody’s backseat, are they in somebody’s bedroom at home or in a safe, in a storage location?” Bagwell says. Moving over to Druva’s cloud-based system simplified the complex process of managing Andritz’s backups across multiple sites. “With Phoenix,” he says, “that problem is gone.”
Aside from security and consistency, Phoenix gives IT staff a single pane of glass that they can utilize to monitor backups across their entire system. This gives Andritz’s IT staff several advantages over their antiquated tape systems. Staff can see server data from any location using centralized administration, they have better access to data and faster recovery, and they are less reliant on tape, thanks to auto-archiving capabilities. Data recovery was once a time-consuming and tedious process, but Phoenix makes it simple. “Our IT guys can do their own restores and so we’re restoring … files back in a matter of seconds versus hours,” Bagwell says. “For us that’s the big piece of it.”
For Bagwell, the ongoing relationship his department has built up with Druva increases the value of using Phoenix even further.
What I most like about Druva is it started as a vendor and now I’d say it’s turning into a partnership. We can talk to those guys. If we have issues or ideas, the product management guys are always available for us. – Brian Bagwell, Andritz’s North American director of IT
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