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Delaware North launches into cloud backup with AirShare and CTERA

By Anthony Caruana
Thu 21 May 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Catering company Delaware North is responsible for delivering food and beverages to patrons and guests and stadiums, resorts, airports and food franchises across Australia. With over 30 sites – some of which are in remote locations in the Northern Territory or Great Barrier Reef islands, there are many challenges ensuring corporate data is correctly backed up.

Relying on local personnel to manage backup media proved problematic according to infrastructure manager Mark Brennan. That drove the company to look for an alternative as there were instances when files needed to be restored but the backup process failed as a result of tapes not being changed or stored correctly offsite.

“Our biggest issues were getting local non-IT staff involved in the process. Whether they be swapping out tapes and taking tapes offsite – which they weren’t doing so there was a lot of risk from a DR [disaster recovery] situation,” says Brennan.

There were also a number of different backup technologies in place which lead to complex license management issues as well as challenges to monitor and maintain the different solutions. Hardware costs are also reduced as there’s no need to have tape-loaders onsite.

In order to increase the reliability of the backup process, Delaware Group looked to AirShare – a cloud-based solution hosted on AWS. By installing an agent on servers and workstations data is backed up to the Amazon cloud without the need for any user intervention. This was a key requirement as many of the remote locations don’t have dedicated IT resource on site.

“We’ve got two major fileshares – a shared data location for the site and a h-drive user share. We’re just selecting those two shares, selecting the routine, setting up the schedule and hitting go,” explains Brennan.

The data goes straight to cloud with restores initiated by logging into the AirShare portal. Recovered files can be returned to their original location, put into another location or even emailed to the user.

The new solution is also easier to monitor. With all sites using the same solution, backing up through a single service, Brennan has a single pane of glass to monitor the backup system.

For some sites, where large amounts of data are held, the pure cloud-based AirShare solution is complemented with a hybrid solution using hardware from CTERA. The CTERA appliance is local disk-based appliance that keeps a copy of the data locally but works with AirShare so data is also sent to the cloud.

Following a recent incident, the CTERA solution made the process of restoring 2TB of data faster than having to pull the same volume of data down from AWS.

“If we’ve got the appliance there, we just go to the appliance. Instead of downloading everything from the cloud we’ve got the local backup but we still have the offsite backup for a DR situation,” says Brennan.

For smaller sites with smaller volumes of data this isn’t needed as restoring of data can be done in a timely manner from AWS.

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