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Baton Rouge Daily Print and Online Newspaper Realizes a 50 Percent Cost Savings Through Server Virtualization, Offsite Data Center Colocation and Business Continuity to Make Publication More Competitive
BATON ROUGE, LA and MARLBOROUGH, MA, Nov 29, 2011 –/BackupReview.info/– Venyu, a leading provider specializing in offsite IT backup and data center solutions, today announced that The Advocate, a daily newspaper and online publication serving the Baton Rouge metro area, has achieved its five-year return on investment (ROI) projections on its complete systems infrastructure overhaul. The IT transformation, leveraging Venyu’s virtualization, offsite backup and disaster recovery services, included the migration from 50 outmoded physical servers housed onsite to a sleek, efficient, outsourced network of four physical and 60 virtual servers in a secure Venyu facility, with the future goal of becoming a 100% virtual IT environment. Not only has The Advocate improved its data server efficiencies, backup, data protection and Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy across multiple offices, lowering its datacenter maintenance costs by more than 50 percent, but the newspaper experienced no downtime during the costliest disaster in Louisiana and U.S. history: Hurricane Katrina.
The Advocate’s IT makeover started in 2004 when the publication had to relocate to a new administration building, build new distribution centers and a state-of-the-art printing facility to replace their aging headquarters. The brick-and-mortar infrastructure wasn’t the only aspect of the business model in need of an upgrade: the publication’s IT systems were also in need of modernization.
“We were moving into a new business office and building a new printing press and distribution centers, all at the same time. Our IT team knew that all of these locations had to be networked so staff could collaborate seamlessly. This could not be achieved with the resources we had in-house at the time,” explained Richard Shurley, Chief Technology Officer and Director of Operations at The Advocate. “As our team began planning the new computer room arrangements, we analyzed the initial cost of a new IT room, as well as the ongoing maintenance of infrastructure, backup and disaster recovery. We soon realized that building this out ourselves was going to be too cost-prohibitive. At that point, we began looking at outsourcing as an alternative.”
Shurley and his team selected Venyu as their partner for the massive project, which included phasing out dozens of physical servers that housed decades of data and applications, in favor of an offsite virtual server network. Venyu’s virtualization and managed solutions removed the maintenance burden Shurley had experienced through years of physical, in-house servers, while giving his staff the monitoring and management tools they required to stay “hands on” with their infrastructure. Venyu’s Baton Rouge data center became The Advocate’s new IT infrastructure hub, giving Shurley and his staff complete visibility into its physical and virtual servers along with 24 X 7 access to a physical business recovery center featuring 93 workspaces.
“Not only did our staff experience zero interruptions during the virtualization process with Venyu, but there was actually an improvement in performance as we began moving many applications and functions from the main physical servers to the virtual ones,” Shurley noted. “Meeting our ROI objectives on this project by cutting our storage budget in half has enabled our organization to streamline efficiencies and make investments in other initiatives that help the publication stay competitive, as opposed to constantly spending more on hardware and infrastructure.”
The Venyu technical team had just completed the successful move of The Advocate’s newly virtualized infrastructure into its secure, highly available Baton Rouge data center in August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. While many organizations in Louisiana found their ability to conduct business as usual at a complete standstill due to the destruction of the fifth deadliest hurricane in U.S. history, The Advocate experienced no network downtime. In fact, the staff at the newspaper continued to put out daily editions on time, and even lent some of its Venyu-based backup workspace to a fellow publication, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, whose facility and network had been wiped out by flooding.
“Due to the importance of this project, we were looking for a company who could offer more than the traditional vendor-customer relationship — we wanted a true partnership, and we have that with Venyu,” said Barry Leblanc, IT Director for The Advocate. “Over the last seven years, we continue to be impressed with the way Venyu takes ownership of their role and responsibilities, as well as their organizational abilities, responsiveness and professionalism. We didn’t have room for failure with this project, and Venyu’s support team not only understood that, but made sure we had the best possible outcome every step of the way.”
“Venyu is proud of the relationship we have forged with The Advocate as they transformed their IT model,” said Scott Thompson, CEO, Venyu. “With Venyu, businesses not only realize the ROI benefits that come from our ability to deliver timely, end-to-end virtualization, managed hosting and recovery of data and systems. They also leverage a true partnership with a company who works closely with its customers to understand their data challenges and deliver customized solutions, regardless of natural disasters or any other challenge to their business continuity.”
Find out more about Venyu’s unique approach to hosting, data backup and disaster recovery by visiting blog.venyu.com, or follow them on Twitter ( http://twitter.com/Venyu ). Join Venyu’s virtualization and cloud backup experts for a free educational webcast on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. To register, go to https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/129642816 .
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