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Case study: Server recovery adds up

21 Sep 2011

When a new, critical server crashed at Taupo accountancy firm Strettons, and kept on crashing despite the ICT manager’s best efforts, StorageCraft ShadowProtect backup and restore software was on hand to save the day.

The rogue machine was one of only three physical servers at Strettons: all the other 16 servers are virtualised. But it plays a key role in the firm’s disaster recovery strategy as it backs up all the virtual servers.

"If we had lost the backup server, our business would have been in dire straits,” says Strettons ICT manager Dave, Cowman.

"When it kept crashing – four times in all – ShadowProtect would restore it within 9-11 minutes. Eventually, I tracked down the problem to incompatibility between the BIOS and a chipset microcode on the motherboard.

"A problem like that is hard to find, but in the meantime ShadowProtect was literally saving me by quickly restoring the hard drive. I was then able to get the server up and running and stable, with all the virtual backups saved to it.

"I schedule ShadowProtect to run often – it gets you out of the hole every time.  It is our first and only choice for physical backups and restores. The product’s resilience and ability to recover quickly to a known location gives me the reassurance that I will always be able to get the job done.”

Strettons’ disaster recovery strategy relies on ShadowProtect in a disk-to-disk-to-tape configuration, with ArcServe providing the tape archival functionality.

Another of the physical servers backed up by ShadowProtect runs Strettons’ internal IP telephone system, while the third is used for managing the firm’s firewall and running anti-virus, anti-spam and other security applications. The assurance of being able to recover these in the event of a crash is also crucial to the company’s business continuity.

"We have run ShadowProtect for a while,” says Cowman.

"When we bought that server, I made sure we had a fully-licensed copy of the product – it was one of the first things I installed on there.

"Also, I use the product for my work PC, which delivers a Mount Olympus view of everything. ShadowProtect looks after that too, because I have a great deal of faith in the product’s ability to deliver quick restores.”

Tracing its beginnings back to 1954, Strettons is not only the oldest accountancy firm in Taupo, but also the largest accountancy firm operating on New Zealand’s Central Plateau.

The company works in partnership with their clients to provide tailored solutions in business advice, risk management and financial planning, investment planning, property administration, software sales and support, taxation services, employment relations, office administration and payroll services, and trust services.

Go here for more on StorageCraft.

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