Monday, 04 April 2011 21:43

City in New Mexico Achieves Faster Server Recovery after Switching to AppAssure Replay 4 Backup & Recovery Software

By Anton Blotskiy

City of Hobbs selects AppAssure's Replay 4 as a solid comprehensive backup and disaster recovery product to handle all the servers.

Reston VA '” AppAssure Software, a provider of award-winning backup and disaster recovery software for mission-critical Windows Applications Servers, today announced that the City of Hobbs, a city in Lea County, NM with the population of approximately 38,000 people, has taken recovery point from 24 hours to 1 hour after switching from Symantec Backup Exec to Replay 4, AppAssure's flagship backup & recovery product. Replay's integrated, application-aware features with deduplication & compression ensured that backup windows were eliminated, workflow was uninterrupted, and all servers were protected.

The city's staff of about 450 employees at the city's administrative offices is responsible for the smooth running of the police and fire departments, parks and recreation, the city's transportation system, waste water treatment facility, cemetery operations, water production and more. The IT department of six specialists manages the infrastructure that makes the city run.

As the IT department's head Ron Roberts states, some of the most important data is processed on the SQL servers in his team's care including images, scanned documents, the GIS layered maps program, MUNIS'”the financial software package, AIMS'”the ambulance billing system, license plate recognition system application, and more. 'It's safe to say that the city runs on SQL applications,' says Roberts. 'Without them, we'd be in deep trouble.'

Difficulty was just what Roberts and his team were trying to avoid as they struggled for years with a backup system. The city's critical data was cobbled together using tape, Backup Exec, disks, and SAN devices. 'We even tried writing some of our own backup scripts for NT Backup,' laughs Roberts, 'and some of the servers, we were backing up manually. We were doing nightly full backups, and then offsiting them on the weekends. Some servers were taking 17 hours to back up and then failing because the backup got too big.' The best recovery scenario the city's IT team could hope for was at least 24 hours along with the fact that the city's night operation could become sluggish as data was being backed up.

Failed backups, huge backup windows, and having to manage multiple backup systems began to take its toll on Hobbs's IT team. 'We couldn't get a centralized backup solution for our environment,' explains Roberts. 'We'd have to do a full install on each server and then manually push it over to one of the SANs. There were several occasions that we went to a backup that wasn't there. We often caught the failed backup, but it was a constant effort. The final straw was the water bill server. The power supply went out and we couldn't get it back for days. We were able to repair the power supply and then resurrect the original server with all data intact, but the backup data on tape was not available. If the current server had not been repairable, then data would have been lost since the last successful backup of several months past.'

The City of Hobbs switched to Replay when it was clear things were not going to get better. 'When the city manager got on board, we decided to go for a good solution,' says Roberts. 'We looked at several different backup and disaster recovery solutions, but Replay is the Cadillac of the systems we looked at, and a great fit for us.'

Replay 4 ensures the Hobbs IT team gets key application protection and allows all aspects of their infrastructure to be protected. 'We're doing hourly SQL Server snapshots and no city operations are affected by this,' says Roberts. 'We've got 1.4TB compressed to 21GB, which is a 63.95x storage savings. This is pretty phenomenal. We like that it's just a small footprint on the server which relieves burden about wondering whether we'll have the backup capacity for all our data.'

As city's IT team looks to the future, they've already planned out how they'll use Replay to take the City of Hobbs to the next level of business continuity. Soon they'll be adding desktop protection, as well as beginning to move to virtualization. They'll also be using Replay's replication feature for offsite disaster recovery from any disaster be it flood, tornado, or another power outage. 'We look forward to having an offsite storage solution with Replay,' notes Roberts. 'We're on the edge of tornado alley, but we've also recently gone through a 500 year rain, so if something happened to one of the city's administrative buildings, it'll be nice to have our information secure in another location.'

As Roberts sums it up: 'Replay is the best solution out there. The technology is a great fit for us.'

For a free 14-day Replay 4 software trial, visit www.AppAssure.com.

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