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Financial firm coaxes more speed out of cloud backups with DataProtect

Payment consultant Vizant Technologies found that cloud backup performance varies from one service provider to the next before choosing DataProtect.

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Payment industry consultant Vizant Technologies moved to cloud backup more than four years ago and realized not all cloud services are the same.

It took the firm a few years and a switch to Zetta.net DataProtect cloud service to solve speed and other issues that plagued its earlier attempt to use the cloud for data protection.

Vizant uses the cloud to protect its interchange statements -- transaction data that is analyzed and processed on Microsoft SQL databases. These statements are crucial to the business because the Philadelphia-based company relies on them to provide money-saving advice to clients. One statement can run thousands of pages long and can take weeks to recreate if lost.

Vizant first turned to the KeepItSafe cloud backup service to protect critical business data in 2009. In early 2013, it moved to Zetta.net to back up three to five business-critical systems, which included Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and SQL databases.

Kevin Davis, Vizant's network systems engineer, said the original service taxed his network connection. He said recoveries and backups were too slow.

"I was not happy with the performance, the speed and the service," Davis said. "Recovery was slow and the backup was slow. Often, the Exchange backup was not completed, and that was a problem. Having a backup that is 90% complete is like having no backup."

Zetta DataProtect requires no on-premises appliances and includes built-in WAN traffic optimization. Unlike with KeepItSafe, Zetta DataProtect does not require Vizant to reserve temporary on-premises storage space to run its backups.

DataProtect installs as an agent on client systems and synchronizes local data with data inside a cloud that Zetta maintains at Equinix colocation sites.

"That was a requirement with KeepItSafe, and it always aggravated me," Davis said. "I had to waste my resources just to make their resources functional. Every time I did a backup, I had to maintain temporary file space for temporary usage. If I backed up 500 GB off-site, I would need 500 GB on-site. I had to waste existing storage space because I had to have a temporary space on-site."

Davis said he was pleased to see Zetta add recovery of individual emails in DataProtect 4.0 last year. He said he previously had to recreate his entire mail server to recover an individual mailbox.

Vizant has a data center near its Philadelphia headquarters and another in Spokane, Wash., on the West Coast. Davis said the company's data footprint is growing, both for structured and unstructured data, so the need for enterprise-level performance and data protection has become more critical.

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