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  • 22 August 2017 13:43

How StorageCraft took Netcare’s service to the next level

NetCare cites comprehensive nature of ShadowProtect solutions, their speed and reliability

As a managed service provider (MSP) with 100-plus customers, NetCare was confident of providing the best possible protection for its customers’ data and systems. But when NetCare acquired a competing company that utilised StorageCraft’s backup and recovery technology, they were able to take data backup and retrieval to new levels.

NetCare cites the comprehensive nature of StorageCraft ShadowProtect solutions, their speed, and above all their reliability. Darryl McAllister, Managing Director, said: “While StorageCraft recovery times tend to be faster overall, the biggest point of difference for us, compared to other solutions, is reliability. Broken, unverified, backup chains are now a thing of the past.”

The Challenge

Based in Sydney’s Norwest Business Park, NetCare supports a mix of Sydney-based businesses with a focus on the wholesale and distribution industry. Most clients run on-premise Windows Server based ERP applications including SAP Business One, MYOB Exo and Jiwa. Many servers are virtualised, running either VMware and Hyper-V.

With 100-plus clients, whose users number from 10 to 100, NetCare is keenly aware of the responsibility for keeping their technology running smoothly. Customer systems are used for decision-making, evaluating processes and creating more effective marketing, and increasing revenue. StorageCraft solution now help to avoid lost data or processing time that would mean lower revenue and stressed users.

The StorageCraft solution

“We were quite happy using Acronis, but a few years ago we purchased a competitor whose client base was mostly using ShadowProtect”, reflects Darryl McAllister. “Initially we intended to switch them over time to Acronis, but after a month or two we realised ShadowProtect was a more suitable backup and recovery platform for all clients. So we reversed our decision and began the process over a two-year period to standardise on ShadowProtect.”

NetCare has standardised on the deployment of ShadowProtect as a core component of its three different IT service plans. ShadowProtect SPX is installed on each virtual instance and file server backups run every 30 minutes. Other servers are generally backed up every hour. ImageManager is used to replicate to an on-premise NAS drive, then offsite to NetCare’s dedicated / isolated cloud backup. The company is utilising virtual licensing and leveraging ShadowProtect for physical- to-virtual (P2V) server projects. They will look to test virtual boot with ESX and Hyper-V. NetCare replicates clients’ data to the Cloud, using IFTP.

An important value-add to NetCare clients with SCADA systems is the installation and monitoring of ShadowProtect to ensure that downtime of very expensive machinery is minimised if a computer fails. NetCare is now providing increased fault-tolerance for many manufacturing clients, supporting both Linux and Windows SCADA systems.

The bottom line

Although user mistakes are not common across NetCare’s customer base, ShadowProtect’s ability to retrieve data from incremental backups ensures that no critical information is lost. Over the past two years the company has come to the rescue of three customers after their servers became infected with ransomware. In addition, NetCare has implemented a disaster recovery process for two other clients following flooding in their computer rooms. Servers and data were recovered within 24 hours in all five cases.

Previously, NetCare used a manual process to perform validation checks on successful backups. This required a full-time network operations centre (NOC) engineer just for backups. Now with StorageCraft and the accuracy and reliability of verification and reporting, the company spends on average two hours a day monitoring and maintaining backups, including application upgrades.

“Today we can retrieve lost file in an instant and do system recoveries,” said Darryl. “We are extremely confident of protecting customer systems, with our combination of Certified StorageCraft engineers, StorageCraft capabilities, suitable client infrastructure and due diligence with internal monitoring processes.

“Today we are in the company’s strongest ever position to advise on and provide reliable backup/DR solutions.”

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