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Christchurch, NZ, April 23, 2012 –/BackupReview.info/– After the earthquake that devastated Christchurch in February 2011, IT services company Oxygen IT saved numerous businesses from disaster by recovering their servers and retrieving their data quickly.
Oxygen IT, which focuses on cloud computing and Infrastructure-as-a-Service, has about 25,000 users online at any given time. Because staff are under intense pressure to keep everything running smoothly, they rely on StorageCraft’s disk-based backup, recovery, migration and disaster recovery technology to safeguard their customers.
When the quake damaged buildings throughout Christchurch’s central business district (CBD), including Oxygen’s primary data centre, backup images of customers’ data, which had been taken regularly by StorageCraft® ShadowProtect™ were stored on the company’s servers.
Oxygen IT was in the throes of replicating data, applications and settings to a second site across town, but still required someone to install a switch connecting a diesel generator to the core network to complete the automated disaster recovery process.
So disaster loomed when managing director Stace Hema found himself unable to access the company’s offices, which were locked down for safety and security purposes immediately after the quake.
However, emergency workers allowed him and his team into the company’s office building. He was able to retrieve the ShadowProtect backup disks and quickly restore the complete servers, including all data and applications for all Oxygen’s clients. When friends in non-client companies heard he had access to CBD buildings, they persuaded him to recover their ShadowProtect backups too.
“We saved one big IT company from potentially massive losses,” said Stace. “I had to run up three staircases of the building before realising they were the wrong staircases! But it was worth the effort. ShadowProtect soon had all the servers up and running again.”
Shortly after the quake, Oxygen IT began operating from a partner’s site in Christchurch and replicating systems, data and settings to a second data centre at Palmerston North. The company IT runs a wide variety of IBM Blade and X-Series servers with a few hundred remote users on VMware platforms. It also co-locates a variety of equipment for similar IT businesses. Including users on Oxygen’s own network plus co-lo customers, there are close to 25,000 users online at any given time.
“With this in mind, plus the risks of doing business in Christchurch, we had seen the urgent need for disaster recovery which is now fulfilled completely by StorageCraft technology,” said Stace.
“Time is a valuable commodity for any business: small, medium and large enterprises all have a critical need for simplified, automated business continuity that takes the risk of data loss off their plate. Our customers need their data to be able to run their business. This is why I recommend they use StorageCraft software for fast, non-intrusive backups and recoveries, such as VirtualBoot™ (system recovery), ShadowStream (ultra-fast replication) and HeadStart Restore (enterprise level disaster recovery). Every minute of downtime costs money and we can help reduce downtime and data loss to an absolute minimum. We have developed a complete offsite disaster recovery solution leveraging the advanced capabilities of StorageCraft’s technology suite.”
Stace said that over the years the company’s previous backup programs always had at least one crucial area of failure, usually in the time taken to restore data or services. Yet when a server fails, techs have little time to investigate thoroughly to identify the reasons for failure – instead they just need to resolve the problem and get systems back online and into production as quickly as possible with as little data loss as possible. – and at an affordable investment.
“StorageCraft solutions deliver total control and peace of mind for us on Windows servers. VirtualBoot, which has the ability to completely restore any size server in minutes instead of hours or days is a lifesaving and core feature for our customers,” he said.
Stace cites examples where ShadowProtect has delivered exceptional return on investment for Oxygen IT and his customers: “If a server crashed previously, our customers could potentially lose an entire day’s worth of data – now only 15 minutes’ data is lost in most instances; Restoring a single file used to take over an hour – now it takes only minutes on average; Previously, a server crash reduced productivity by up to a whole day or more – now a complete restore using StorageCraft’s VirtualBoot™ takes just a few minutes, regardless of the size of the server; Before ShadowProtect, to migrate a server was often highly disruptive to our customers and could take days depending on the amount of data. During the migration process, the systems had to be taken offline and users had no access to data. Now using ShadowProtect HeadStart Restore, the same migration happens while users are still accessing current data on the system being migrated, almost eliminating downtime and dramatically increasing productivity for our customers.”
“StorageCraft is by far the best solution provider in the marketplace for disaster recovery on Windows-based computers,” said Stace. “Their ability to virtual-boot a complete server in minutes justifies the investment almost immediately. VirtualBoot is also an ideal technology to be used when creating a test or lab environment or to determine the impact of for example a new patch or application using real up-to-date data without disrupting production systems. Our customers can rest easy, knowing that their data, databases and complete servers are protected and most importantly recoverable with minimal data loss and downtime.
More recently Oxygen IT has built its own ShadowProtect ImageManager repository network, which is available to other resellers enabling Oxygen IT to offer, the ability to back up their own clients locally and remotely. Online backup clients replicate their systems to Oxygen’s Christchurch data centre facility multiple times a day using ShadowStream and that facility then replicates to a Palmerston North data centre each night providing multiple recovery points and recovery locations in the event of a problem or, even worse, a disaster. In the first two weeks, 71 customers signed up for the new service.
Oxygen’s sister company, Oxynet, runs the data centre hosting business. The company buys bandwidth from a major telco and most of its customers and resellers are signed up to internal plans. ISP customers have 30GB a month plan backup to Christchurch or Palmerston North, essentially giving them 30GB of free storage. At present 210TB of data is stored and backed up safely by StorageCraft technology.
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