Total Systems boosts disaster recovery capability and reduces costs with Arcserve


Total Systems is a software development company specialising in solutions for the insurance industry. Its modular software supports the full insurance lifecycle across the total range of both commercial and personal lines of insurance.

The company’s goal is to help improve insurance distribution by increasing employee productivity, improving the customer experience and increasing business efficiency by providing leading edge technology.

To prevent disruption to clients, sales, services and development, the company must ensure its systems and data can be quickly recovered in the event of an outage. “We host software for some of our clients and run a number of proof of concept exercises onsite, so long recovery times could potentially lead to a loss of service for our clients and a loss of revenue for us, both of which impact our reputation,” explains Dave Hornby, IT Manager at Total Systems.

The company’s DR strategy had not been reviewed for a number of years and the service had become costly and the technology dated. For daily onsite backups, Total Systems was using a combination of backup solutions, but these were complex to manage and resulted in an overly extended backup window. “With the lengthy backup window and protracted recovery times, we were sometimes challenged to respond to user requests to restore files in a timely manner,” adds Hornby. “We decided to look for a new Disaster Recovery and backup solution at the same time.”

Arcserve solutions protect 100 virtual servers

Total Systems worked with data protection specialists Cognitive Network Solutions to investigate the solutions on the market. “Cognitive Network Solutions’ experts were knowledgeable and responsive,” comments Hornby. “The team helped us specify our requirements, suggested solutions and arranged demonstrations.”

Following a proof of concept (POC) exercise, the team selected a solution based on an Arcserve appliance and Arcserve Cloud Hybrid with DRaaS. With Arcserve’s assistance, the implementation and configuration were completed in just two days.

“We chose the Arcserve solutions as they were very easy to use and simplified management with a single point of contact for both daily backups and DR,” says Hornby. “The appliance approach was a good option for us, as we avoided the need to specify requirements, buy and maintain hardware – we have a multi-service solution that we don’t have to worry about.”

Total Systems now backs up its entirely virtual IT environment every night to the Arcserve appliance. This includes 100 virtual servers, comprising a mix of Unix and Windows systems that support a number of the company’s clients as well as all key business processes, from R&D and marketing to finance and sales.

Additional hourly backups protect critical data on Exchange and SQL servers, and 90% of the company’s data is replicated to the Arcserve Cloud. With inbuilt ransomware protection, Total Systems can safeguard this data against malicious attacks.

Faster, easier recovery safeguards systems and frees up IT resources

With the Arcserve appliance, Total Systems can restore a server following an outage in just six minutes. “In the event of a disaster, we could recover our entire environment in two to three hours with Arcserve,” confirms Hornby. “It’s also cut our backup window to just three hours, including replication to the cloud.”

Faster restores mean that the IT team can respond immediately if a user accidentally deletes a file, instead of having to wait a day to avoid disrupting the nightly backup window.

Day-to-day management is also easier for the team, as they no longer have to manage an offsite storage facility. In the event of a backup failure, the team is alerted first thing in the morning and can re-run the backup in just a couple of minutes without slowing down production systems and impacting users.

Using Arcserve solutions, Total Systems has:

  • Reduced DR and data protection costs by 35%
  • Maximised productivity within the IT team
  • Minimised backup storage requirements with a 75% data compression ratio
  • Reduced business risk

“By strengthening our data protection and DR credentials with the Arcserve solution, we’re in a better position to meet client SLAs and can give a stronger response to RFPs,” comments Hornby. “As a software company, we need to demonstrate that we’re committed to protecting our clients’ data, and with Arcserve we can achieve this.”

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