Online backup and restore service selected by The Carlyle Group

Interxion, Europe's leading provider of premium carrier-neutral data centre and managed services, has 20 data centres across Europe and supports 1,000 customers including enterprises, systems integrators, internet service providers, hosting and telecommunications companies. Interxion's online backup and restore service was selected by The Carlyle Group to back up 500GB of mission-critical data.

The Carlyle Group is a leading global private equity firm with over 300 investment professionals operating out of 24 offices in 13 countries across North America, Europe and Asia. In Europe The Carlyle Group has seven offices in six countries.

With a distributed network of offices the firm decided to pursue a centralized approach to business continuity in Europe. An essential component of any highly resilient business continuity strategy is the ability to back up and restore data quickly and easily.

'A resilient backup solution is the backbone of our business continuity strategy - loss of information regarding any of our investments would be catastrophic to our operations. As a consequence we decided to conduct an extensive market analysis of backup and restore services available in order to identify a solution that could best fit our very specific needs in Europe,' said Darren Smith, regional IT manager at The Carlyle Group.

The challenge

The Carlyle Group put together a 'balanced scorecard' based on the functionality of the backup and restore solutions on the market, but more importantly it looked for the solutions' strategic fit with its current and future business requirements.

Specifically it sought a solution that:

  • required no up-front investment in hardware, software or installation;
  • was easy to set up and required minimum user interaction once set up;
  • allowed The Carlyle Group regional offices to perform scheduled data backups, at multiple locations on a daily or hourly basis without the need for human intervention;
  • allowed The Carlyle Group to back up and restore a whole network, servers, PC hard drives, databases, files or individual emails;
  • allowed The Carlyle Group to back up live applications (like SQL, MS Exchange and Oracle Databases);
  • had a short backup window;
  • automatically stored the data offsite using the existing internet connections;
  • used a high-level security protocol (128/256 encryption) and was customer key protected.

The Carlyle Group has rightly identified that almost all traditional backup technologies have their downsides; it is a known trade-off when more functionality also means more complexity to manage.

Simple file copies to a CD do what they should do but require daily human intervention and cannot cope with multiple gigabytes of data, let alone complex live databases. The standard tape-based solutions can cope with more data and complexity, yet they require specific software skills and proper tape maintenance, checking and rotation.

'Without onsite IT support in all our offices, we wanted a solution that was quick and easy to get up and running, simple to use and that was backed up with 24/7 technical support. It was essential that we were able to identify a solution that required minimum human intervention and solved the operational complexity of the traditional backup procedures,' continued Darren Smith.

Which direction?

Over the last couple of years online disk-based backup technology has undergone rapid development and is now maturing. As a result the price of both hard drives and associated data management applications have decreased substantially.

When you combine this with the fact that most companies now enjoy broadband connectivity at highly competitive rates it becomes apparent why more and more companies are choosing online backup and restore rather than tape- or CD-based backup solutions.

Online backup and restore solutions offer a number of advantages over traditional forms of backup. Most important is the fact that they are increasingly purchased as a managed service, moving the cost from capital expenditure to monthly charges.

Making the right choice

The Carlyle Group decided to purchase Interxion's data backup and restore solution, Secure Data Service (SDS), through its broadband service provider Centric Telecom. Centric Telecom is one of the UK's fastest-growing broadband service providers, serving some of the most prestigious properties and property owners from London to Edinburgh.

Centric Telecom provides broadband connectivity through its own network, creating a platform for additional services ranging from email and virus scanning to virtual private networks (VPNs), security systems and off-site backup.

'SDS has proven to be a reliable and user-friendly online backup solution that meets our requirements. In addition we are very pleased with the ability of Interxion to deliver the SDS solution over the Centric Telecom network.

It has proven to be a cost-effective option as it is based on the utility pricing model where we only pay for the amount of data we actually back up and no up-front investments are required,' concludes Darren Smith.

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