AppAssure Software, a leading developer of innovative backup and disaster recovery software products for mission-critical Windows application servers, today announced that BCRA, a Tacoma, WA-based design and architecture firm that serves clients in 20 markets throughout the USA and Asia, switched from CommVault Simpana to AppAssure’s award-winning Replay4 backup and recovery software. With Replay, BCRA managed to eliminate enormous and growing backup window as well as implement superior offsite replication for comprehensive disaster recovery planning.
“We tried several backup solutions over the years because we needed to make sure that we had good backups and good restore capabilities should anything happen to our data,” says Phil Lewis, BCRA’s IT Director. “Years ago, we used Symantec Backup Exec, but in 2007, when Symantec bought Veritas, they pushed out a buggy version upgrade causing us to lose confidence in it, so we got rid of it and switched to CommVault’s Simpana.”
The process of making sure BCRA’s data was securely and confidently backed up involved the IT team working with CommVault’s agent on their Exchange and SQL servers, states BCRA’s Network Administrator John Hicken. They did daily incremental backups, and full backups of the data once a week. But this is where the team kept running into trouble, he notes. “Because of the large amount of data we had, the weekend backup window kept growing. It was running well into the week, like Wednesday and Thursday, and this wasn’t good because it slowed down the rest of the staff’s work.”
In contrast, when Lewis and Hicken saw that AppAssure’s Replay eliminates backup windows and images entire servers (not just the data), and includes replication, they said,“This is what we need.”
“We started by putting Replay in our existing space,” recalls Lewis,“then we decided to go the next step and put Replay in a data center off-site for disaster recovery planning purposes. Jon tells me I got a lot of green check marks and I sleep like a baby now.”
As Hicken states, the excruciating backup window that BCRA experienced was completely eliminated with Replay. BCRA is protecting volumes on four mission critical application servers, each at different snap intervals depending on risk assessment. Replay takes an incremental snapshot of the main file server is at 30 minutes, the Microsoft Exchange server hourly, and the Microsoft SQL server twice a day. “Replay is almost hands-off,” says Hicken. “In the morning, I take a glance at it, and it’s always doing its job getting the snaps.”
As for replication, notes Hicken, the off-synch that BCRA had to contend with PeerSynch has been solved with Replay. “We have servers and a 100MB pipe to the co-lo data center. When I look at Replay’s replication information, the backup window is virtually gone. We’re always at the last snap. There is no synch issue, nor lag time.”
In addition to replication, disaster recovery confidence, and continuous disk imaging, BCRA has also gained several additional bonus features with Replay – features that Lewis and Hicken say they didn’t necessarily expect. “We’re now showing 53-100% in disk space savings,” says Hicken. “When you can access a full volume immediately, that’s impressive. Replay saves a lot of space, even though we keep dailies for up to two months.”
The other unexpected benefit is an outstanding return on investment, says Lewis. “The cost of a loss of a day’s work with nightly incrementals at BCRA is astronomical,” explains Lewis. “Let me just say that previously, the cost was great compared to the risk we were carrying. AppAssure’s Replay paid for itself in all these areas.”
Comparing where BCRA was previously to where the company is today, Lewis says,“In the past, we’ve taken unnecessary risks by letting price dictate our solutions. With Replay, we’re not taking risks AND we’ve got a good price point. In fact, we’re now in great shape.”
Headquartered in Tacoma, WA and with offices on both the east and west coasts and in Manila, Philippines, BCRA serves clients in 20 markets throughout the United States and Asia with multiple design disciplines, including architecture & interior design, science & engineering, planning & resource management, and visual communication & strategy.
About AppAssure Replay 4
Replay 4 is the world’s fastest and easiest backup and disaster recovery software for Windows application servers, VMware and Hyper-V Virtual Servers. The only complete “all-in-one” backup and recovery solution, Replay 4 enables local recoveries from any type of failure in just minutes, with the added assurance of offsite application and image backup and bare metal recovery from a total site disaster.
About AppAssure Software
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 in minutes.