A Migration from Tape to Business Continuity

When you’ve been in business since 1937, change doesn’t always come easy. For one of the country’s oldest producers of pancake and waffle flour the decision to upgrade their backup technology didn’t happen overnight. However, one of New Carbon’s stated corporate values is “Accountability: We are dependable; you can count on us.” So after a few “challenges” during five years with their tape backup solution, the move to a more robust backup solution that could also ensure fast recovery and business continuity was clear.

Pinnacle, An Advanced Imaging Solutions Company is New Carbon’s IT services provider. Pinnacle, based in Mishawaka, IN, is focused on the success of their clients through business technology solutions. When Pinnacle first began working with Michael Lowe and his team at New Carbon they performed a business and technology audit, as they do with all their clients.

An immediate red flag for the Pinnacle team was the existing tape backup. New Carbon has an extensive network with multiple locations, including 85 office users and seven terabytes of data, making tape a questionable choice when it comes to backup, recovery speed, and most definitely, business continuity.

Pinnacle wanted to do their due diligence, however, and not just assume that tape was not the best backup solution for New Carbon. But when they asked the New Carbon team if they’d had problems with tape, Michael Lowe readily replied, “Yes!” The issues they identified as negative experiences with tape were familiar to the Pinnacle team, including:

  • Troubles with manual process
  • Slow data restores
  • Basic tape failures
  • Unable to meet RTO
  • Inability for redundant cloud backups
  • Unable to recover date
  • Confusion: what tape to use for what
  • Costly downtime!

New Carbon summed up their top three reasons for moving from tape to a robust BDR/Business Continuity solution as:

  1. “Tapes could not back up unless we changed them out, weekends holidays always caused problems.
  2. Tapes were reaching over max capacity backups were suffering.
  3. Tapes were never easy to restore files for a user, would spend way more time than what was wanted on a simple file restore task.”

When asked for their top three reasons for selecting Datto SIRIS, based on Pinnacle’s recommendations, New Carbon gave nine, including “image based, hybrid cloud based, automated backup verification, redundancy, 24/7 support, Ability to backup schedule, Backups being automated, Quick easy recover of files, fast restore ability of VMs”.

Migration Made Easy

Does the thought of migrating from tape concern you? Afraid it may be too cumbersome? This hesitation often deters an upgrade. But if you’re even considering a migration from tape, bear in mind the words of Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Both MSP and client report the process as being “crazy easy!” Quite simply, they “had a backup set for all servers by using the apply to all option on one server schedule in 30 minutes. I thought it was like the cake at first, a lie, but it’s not, it’s just that easy.”

A DR Is Better with SIRIS

As odds (and luck) would have it, New Carbon experienced a server crash not long after their new SIRIS was in place. They needed to restore the VMs that were hosted on the server.

The SIRIS successfully backed up all the data from the VMs, and Pinnacle was able to quickly restore the VMs to a new host machine. In addition, “The easy to use interface keeps it simple and straight forward during that process.” Of course, the top benefits were no data loss and the ability to keep operations running.

The team was also impressed with the ease of individual file restores. “The file restore really surprised me at how easy it is for a user to just navigate to the files and copy back to where they want them,” said New Carbon. This is especially important given that Datto solutions are founded on image-based backup and it can be misleading that individual file restores are not easily managed. Both Pinnacle and New Carbon both answered a resounding “NO!!!” when asked if they’d ever go back to tape.

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