BigHand provides digital dictation, task management, and process optimization solutions to companies across the world. Headquartered in the UK, BigHand has over 150 staff members worldwide and helps more than 2,500 client organizations improve the efficiency of their operations across the legal, finance, healthcare, and property markets.
The company manages global support operations as well as running offices in multiple countries. The effort required to support demanding customers across industries and locations creates a lot of data, which all has to be stored. With a traditional tape system that was not meeting their needs, the BigHand IT team was looking for different options to protect this data.
Abs Vyas, IT Infrastructure Lead at BigHand, was leading a project to consider what should replace the old tape implementation: “We know that we wanted to move over to an online backup solution for our production data, as the time to recover from tape was too long for our requirements today,” he said. “At the same time, we have extremely strict security requirements to consider around our data too.”
Replacing Tape With Cloud-Based Data Protection
Key to the new implementation were the following criteria:
- Time taken to manage backups – the overhead to manage data backup had to be low, with easy-to-use management tools
- Recovery location – rather than only being able to restore to the same physical tape system, more flexibility and options for recovery were required
- Security – any solution had to be fully secure with data encryption and have the secure transfer of data built-in
- Efficiency of network traffic – the new solution should have minimal impact on daily operations and provide full management support for scheduling backup windows to manage network traffic volume
The IT team at BigHand decided to engage with AVR to evaluate their options around online backup and data recovery. “There is an abundance of software out there today that claims to be secure, fast, reliable and well made,” says Vyas. “From a reseller perspective, AVR played a key part in helping us complete our research over several months and pick the right solution to meet our criteria.”
Following this collaboration, BigHand chose Druva Phoenix as its new data protection service. “Druva provides us with a simple and secure service to move our production data to a data protection platform,” says Vyas. “Phoenix was easy to install, and the management is both highly configurable and easily administered from one place. The reporting side is really strong as well as it tells you exactly what you need to know through clear graphs and meaningful annotations.”
“I would recommend Druva every day of the week to replace a tape system. It is more agile and robust than a tape system, we can now backup international locations from a central console, and we can manage our data effectively.”
– Abs Vyas, IT Infrastructure Lead, BigHand
Moving Data Protection to the Cloud
Druva Phoenix provides cloud-based backup for servers and virtual machines, unifying data management tasks such as backup, disaster recovery, and archiving in one solution. As part of the product, Phoenix includes source-side global deduplication of data, reducing the volume of data that has to be protected and shrinking the storage footprint considerably. In turn, this reduces costs for BigHand.
“The bandwidth used by the product is pretty low, and the configurable storage deduplication is amazing,” explains Vyas. “In practice, we are getting around a 2.5 times reduction in storage footprint, which is phenomenal for us.”
With the completion of the implementation at BigHand, the IT team has successfully migrated from tape-based backup to a central, cloud-based backup and data protection service. The results from this have already been impressive, according to Vyas: “We are now less worried about backups. And all that time previously spent on managing tapes has been released back to my team and we were able to de-commission the tape system. I now look forward to error-free online backups, and great support if I ever need it. From a business point of view, having the ability to restore to another location is great, as we now don’t have a single point of failure in our backup system.”