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Taken to the cleaners – but data is safe

It’s the nightmare scenario which every business owner fears: over the weekend, the office is cleaned out by thieves –

and they’ve targeted all the computer equipment.

For Izimo Management and Cleaning Services, that meant a lifetime of electronically stored records, accounting information, timesheets, clients, schedules, the works. But it also wasn’t too big a problem for the company’s continued existence, because it had a secure, offsite copy of its business critical data stashed safely out of reach, thanks to Cactus Backup and Attix5.
Izimo is a specialist provider of outsourced cleaning services, with a staff complement of approximately 800 personnel. Like any other business, it is obliged to keep sound records of all business activities and has an information store which is essential to the sustainability of the company.

MD Carl Rheeders says the shock of discovering everything gone is substantial. “Of course, when you realise that the computers are gone, the next thing you immediately think is ‘will the backup actually work’.”

It’s a question which has occurred to many a business owner, especially since a great number of companies still use outdated, inefficient or downright sketchy backup practices. Rheeders confirms that prior to engaging with Attix5 reseller, Cactus Backup, it too had a less than sound system in place: “Previously, we were using external USB drives to store our data. The bad news is that when the criminals swept through the office, they took all of those too.” In addition to this, any backup solution that relies on manual processes are fallible due to the human factor. The Attix5 solution removes this risk from the backup process.

The configuration of the solution also involves setting a schedule for the backups to take place. “Without any impact on the users of the computers, the Attix5 agent scans each machine, identifying any changes in the data. Only these changes are then transmitted over the Internet, to the remote offsite copy.”

Michael Law, Attix5 MD, says this model provides for very low bandwidth utilisation. “Additionally, all transmitted information is secured with 256-bit encryption.” With the remote copy, Law notes, even in an extreme case such as that of Izimo, the business can quickly recover its essential information. “The only thing that is required is hardware on to which to restore the data.”

While the data can be retrieved over the Internet (to anywhere in the world) in a larger-scale loss such as that experienced by Izimo, Yates opted to physically transport a copy from the remote data centre to the customer’s premises.
Rheeders picks up the story: “We discovered, to our joy, that the service that Cactus Backup provides really does work. The Attix5 Backup Professional service had all of our data quite safe despite the fact that we no longer had any computers.”

Getting that data back, he says, just took a little time for the insurance to settle the claim for new hardware. “As soon as the new hardware had been reconfigured, the data was restored via the Cactus Backup Server. It was all there: documents, e-mail, Pastel Accounting, VIP Payroll. The long and the short of it is that without this service in place, there is a very real risk that our business would have been set back by months while we tried to restore our systems from our paper-based records. With Cactus and Attix5, the only real impact was serious inconvenience. That you can recover from; lost data, you cannot.”

IT Online