By Dan Alonso, Business Development Manager, Flagler Technologies
I’m a fan of brutal simplicity. It’s a useful approach to life and a hallmark of technological excellence.
The IT company I work for, Flagler Technologies, aims to provide its customers with the simplest and most secure target to store backup information. We focus on an industry-wide problem: restoration — that is, the ability to access your data even in the event of a loss, whether due to an outage, accidental deletion or malicious action.
Recently, one of our customers, a commercial art firm, approached us with a challenge to simplify their data infrastructure and ability to restore files. The director of operations and technology needed around 100 terabytes of backup capacity to protect its art files.
The challenge: Commercial art firm desires a simplified and improved backup and restore
Just how big is 100 terabytes of art files? It’s enough to store millions of individual files.
Think about your standard iPhone, which offers around a terabyte of data storage. That equates to 30,000 to 40,000 images. Now multiply by 100, and that’s roughly the amount of information our customer was looking to securely store. They have a lot of data — both unstructured and structured — including images and other file types.
Keeping these files stored safely — with reliable backups and fast, predictable restores — is essential to this company’s business. Their existing solution wasn’t sufficient. The art firm was using network-attached storage (NAS) and their file stores were left unprotected for more than three years. While snapshots were turned on for some of the file shares, that wasn’t the case for all of them. Restoration was sorely lacking. If someone lost a file, it could take hours to root through the entire file system and visually locate the file to restore it. That’s hours lost in productivity and, frankly, it was a big risk to leave so much unprotected.
As a quick-fix solution, the art firm’s IT director was considering an expensive appliance offering from a different vendor, but I made him a friendly bet that I could design a superior solution that would cost a third of the price.
The solution: A simple "hypersonic restore target” to protect terabytes of art files and more
We needed something quick and simple, but I wasn’t about to cut corners. My vision was to build a custom “hypersonic restore target” that would exceed my customer’s needs, now and into the future. Using the most flexible hardware and software solutions in the market, I got busy. I started with the hardware– a custom-built 1U server (a dedicated computer designed to occupy one unit in a standard server rack) that operates on what’s arguably the fastest physical media on the planet, the PCI 5 interface. It leverages Intel Technology appliances from HPE and Intel, to avoid requiring things like an RA controller. This removes bottlenecks that slow down the hard drive’s or the system’s ability to access data. It’s the fastest thing we could build.
On top of this, I used Scality ARTESCA immutable object storage, which offers five levels of cyber resiliency, from the application level to the core architecture level. That resiliency makes it the only S3 object storage solution that offers unbreakable cybersecurity for ransomware-proof data via trusted authentication, access control and encryption. And its one-, three- and 5-year subscriptions start at under $4,000 per year, including support. I don’t think customers should be required to spend more money than is necessary to protect their business.
For backup software, we went with Veeam, which integrates seamlessly with Scality ARTESCA and HPE. It’s this synergy that really adds to the solution’s power and provides something other companies don’t have — and can’t offer at this price point.
With this combination, we’re able to drastically — by an order of magnitude — outperform the disk layer that’s under competing solutions. Yes, even very popular solutions with a lot of clout.
And speaking of speed, the solution was in full production a week and a half after deployment.
Results: Greater visibility, simplicity and instant restoration — no more lost art
Since deployment, the art firm’s director of operations and technology is now able to use his backup data set on the solution we built for him. He can instantly recall his backup data and mine it from an e-discovery perspective. He can find an image, and then instantly restore that image just by typing out the file name, almost like a Google search.
He’s also dramatically increased data awareness and visibility as a result of the solution. If someone loses a file or a whole folder, all they have to do is right-click and restore it from the last backup, which is set for every six hours for all 100 terabytes. So, it’s always change-aware. Everything is automatically protected.
He told me he appreciates the simplicity of the solution and how quickly he’s been able to pick it up and run with it — with tangible benefits. That speaks to the backup software and also the simplicity of the storage solution. From the ARTESCA software perspective, it was very straightforward to install, stand up, and get integrated with Veeam. That took mere moments to do.
The path forward: A mutual partnership for more success
In my line of work, I have opportunities to partner with many vendors. I keep working with Scality because the company and its technology empower me to design and build solutions that exceed the unique requirements of each customer. A lot of vendors take a one-size-fits-all approach, which is detrimental not only to the customer but also to my ability to serve them.
Scality is focused on developing strategic alliances, solid relationships, and future-proof products that are cybersecure and easy to use. Because I’m a fan of brutal simplicity, I always scrutinize exactly how a solution is built. I question the hype and dig into the details. I love that Scality has this same mentality. They’re all about delivering proven solutions for real-world problems. My way of thinking aligns with Scality’s, which makes for a great partnership. I can’t wait to see where it takes us next!
Interested in building a ransomware-proof backup solution for your organization? Contact Flagler Technologies today at (561)-229-1601!