AppAssure Software, a developer of the award-winning Replay 4 backup and disaster recovery software, today announced that Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corporation (AVECC), a non-profit rural electric utility cooperative serving thirteen counties in the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma, has reached high data recovery speeds with 75% less backup storage space after switching from Backup Exec to AppAssure's flagship backup and disaster recovery product, Replay 4.
Working with more than 8,100 miles of distribution lines and over 56,000 electrical services clients, Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative takes pride in making sure its customers have the electrical power they depend on. Behind the scenes, Alan Wagoner, IT Manager, and Brian Orrick, IT Analyst, make sure that all the systems and people that make up AVECC have all the power they depend on.
For Wagoner and Orrick, the longer they stayed the course with their old backup and recovery product – Backup Exec – the more they experienced sleepless nights mulling over key questions: How long would the Corporation be down if a server failed? Could they restore Exchange? What if they had to do a bare metal recovery? And what about all the space they needed that Backup Exec was taking?
“Backup Exec was just too difficult to install, set up and maintain for what we needed,” explains Wagoner. “We had it well before I got here seven years ago, and while we only had one Exchange failure, we found the older version of Backup Exec worked better than newer versions. That wasn’t good.”
With their old system, Wagoner and Orrick found that they had to do tedious nightly backup, but because Backup Exec lacked the deduplication and compression assets, they were hampered by how much data they could store. And, they were never sure that everything was backed up properly with Backup Exec.
“Our billing app, which runs on Oracle, is integrated with the electric meter reading of all 56,000 AVECC clients. If this app’s server went down, it would be very, very bad,” notes Wagoner. “I was never confident with Backup Exec. Because of this, other servers in our office weren’t being backed up at all with Backup Exec because of the internal tape drives.” Finally, there was the proverbial straw, when Backup Exec wouldn’t let Wagoner simply restore one single mailbox. AVECC knew they needed storage space, the ability to restore from the ground up while having granularity control. Wagoner and Orrick realized it was time for something better and Backup Exec’s limitations sent them to Replay.
Wagoner’s team ran the Replay demo and were hooked from the get go. “I like the flexibility to restore an entire server, if need be, but also the ability to restore just a single file,” says Wagoner. “Also, Replay gives me a lot of key features, like dedupe and compression, corruption detection, ease of setup, and time saving. We basically “set it and forget it”.
Wagoner and Orrick note that they depend on Replay to protect AVECC’s desktops. “We have used Replay to recover one of our critical work stations on two different occasions, recovery time was minimal. We have also used Replay to recover one of our critical servers after a hard drive failed in it. We had the server totally recovered in no time.”
In addition, with their virtualized environment using VMware, while they’ve only had to do individual item restores, they’re happy with what they’re seeing. “The snapshot feature is beneficial on key servers, as it allows for more recovery points. We also like the ability to have VM and physical standbys that stay updated as well,” says Wagoner.
Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corporation’s customers are in good hands as Replay helps Wagoner and Orrick look to the future – including virtualization, installing a SAN, and making use of Replay’s replication features. “Replay has given us better application and data protection. We’re now able to backup info we hadn’t been able to before because we just didn’t trust Symantec Backup Exec. Now we do.”
IT professionals may download a Replay 14-day free trial at AppAssure's website.
AppAssure Software (appassure.com) is a leading provider of innovative backup and disaster recovery software for Windows application servers. AppAssure’s flagship product, Replay 4 is an application-aware, disk-based imaging solution that automatically and continuously snapshots entire Windows application servers delivering accelerated application backups and disaster recovery for Windows servers in minutes.