Founded in 1960, Maxell is a Japanese consumer electronics company that specialises in manufacturing batteries, charging solutions, storage devices and computer tapes.
In 1992, Maxell expanded its product range by moving into the data storage and the backup arena. It began manufacturing a number of computer tapes aimed at both consumers and businesses looking to save important IT information and files.
With two sites in the UK, Maxell Europe was storing almost 8TB of corporate data that ranged from customer databases and employee email archives to images and graphic files for marketing.
Prior to implementing a cloud backup and disaster recovery (DR) solution, Maxell's UK team was using a physical tape-based solution utilising IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). This presented a number of challenges for the small IT department as the team had limited time and resources to focus on the organisation's data storage and growth.
With the main UK office in Maidenhead and another site in Telford, the tape based backup solution often proved problematic when tapes had to be physically moved between locations. The transporting process was becoming very time consuming, as there were usually delays.
Tony Sale, Senior Support Analyst at Maxell Europe, says that the backup process itself was proving time consuming; often taking between two to five days to complete a full backup. He explains, "When using the TSM solution we found that the performance of the service was largely dependent on the volume of data that was being backed up. For instance, smaller volumes could be completed within 48 hours, which was still a considerable time to wait. However, as the amount of data increased, the system became slow and unresponsive and if a full backup was successful it would often take up to five days".
Tony continues, "There were also numerous instances when backups completely failed for no reason. This could have been due to the age of the system or the volume of data, but nevertheless it became frustrating and was an immediate risk to the business".
As backing up data was becoming burdensome, the old solution also suffered from downtime. Andy Morris, Senior Support Analyst at Maxell, says, "Whilst system downtime didn't happen too frequently, when critical issues did arise it could take up to two weeks to resolve. Most of the time we were able to deal with the problems in-house but there were a couple of occasions where we had to bring someone in to fix the issues".
Using the TSM system also became a hindrance to Maxell Europe's Disaster Recovery (DR) solution which was essentially non-existent using the old solution. Tony Sale comments, "In order to have a formal DR solution we would have needed another TSM system on top of the current one we were using. This would have proved both time consuming and also costly to the business".
"Whilst no incidents had occurred where a DR solution was needed, we were conscious that a disaster could be detrimental for the business. Therefore, we wanted to put a formal DR platform in place to be safe. That's when we decided to look for an alternative solution".
In 2014, Maxell Europe began looking for a cloud backup provider that would be able to provide a reliable solution and accommodate a business with two separate sites. After looking at a number of providers, including SunGard Availability Services, Maxell met with Redstor in February 2014 and following a trial of the service, they implemented Redstor's cloud backup offering for 3TBs of company data.
Tony Sale explains, "After trialling Redstor, we found that it was exactly what we were looking for. It proved to be much more efficient and reliable than our previous service as we could leave it running overnight and be certain that a backup would be completed".
Sale continues, "We carried on utilising the TSM system during the installation process to ensure downtime was kept to a minimum. The process was very straightforward and we found that Redstor were always available to answer any questions and support any issues".
Furthermore, whereas Maxell previously had no formal DR in place, they have been able to utilise Redstor to successfully build their own in-house platform. Andy Morris explains, "Due to the nature of the Redstor backup technology, we were able to utilise the continuous restore function to split the virtual environment to develop our own in house DR solution".
Maxell initially purchased Redstor's cloud backup service to store over 3TBs of company data. The company has successfully been able to reduce the backup time by up to 80% as Tony explains, "When using the old TSM system to store data, it would sometimes take up to five days to complete a full backup. Since using the Redstor cloud backup technology, a full system backup can be completed overnight, which is a significant improvement on the old service and gives us greater peace of mind that every backup will be completed".
In addition to saving time during the backup process, Maxell were also able to save up to 50% on cost, compared to the similar solutions they were previously looking at. As well as this, in order to implement a DR platform to work alongside their backup solution, the IT department would have needed to purchase a separate TSM system which would have had costly implications. Using the Redstor cloud backup platform, the business was able to develop an automated backup and DR solution within one technology, utilising a simple per TB cost model.
Following a smooth installation and successful data backup process, Maxell renewed their contract with Redstor in July 2015 for a further 12 months and increased the data volume to 4TBs.
Tony Sale concludes, "After working with Redstor for over a year we have been extremely impressed with their service and therefore we decided to renew our original contract. We have successfully been able to reduce our backup time and put in place a working DR platform using a cost competitive service. Internally, the staff are thrilled with the service provided. As an international business working in a number of different sectors, we recognise the importance of ensuring our data is always secure and with Redstor by our side we are confident that we will remain diligent with the storage of our company's data".