June 22, 2007
by Diana Shepstone
Original article at SNS Europe web site
BT Standardises on Acronis
"Why one of the world leading providers of communications solutions has standardises on Acronis True Image Enterprise Server as its disaster recovery solution in its data centre in Northern Ireland."
By ensuring that BT can restore servers in minutes instead of hours, Acronis True Image has enabled BT to reduce server downtime considerably.
BT initially purchased 500 Acronis True Image Enterprise Server licenses and has installed the product on all new equipment and as an update to older hardware in the Northern Ireland data centre. By taking a snapshot of the system (creating an exact sector-by-sector image of the hard disk), then storing that image on another system, Acronis True Image Enterprise Server allows the BT data centre team in Northern Ireland conduct a full system restore, partial restore or a restore of individual files and folders in minutes rather than hours or days.
Recovery can be as quick as a system reboot or, in the case of a physical drive failure, simply replacing the damaged disk with a new, bare-metal (unformatted) drive. Complete system restoration can be performed to that same system, another system with different hardware or to a virtual machine. The patent-pending Acronis Secure Zone® technology even enables restores from the same machine by allowing customers to save an image to a special partition on the local system. This is invaluable for mobile computing environments where a machine might be disconnected from network recovery services.
Acronis True Image has enabled BT in Northern Ireland to centralise its backup operations and be able to control everything from one location. There is a recovery partition feature, where Acronis True Image is part of the standard build on new servers. Prior to the system going live, BT performs a "recovery build" image of the system and saves it in the Acronis Secure Zone®. If a disaster situation occurs to one of the servers, BT can recover the server locally with two exclusive Acronis technologies; the Acronis Recovery Manager allows BT to boot the system by selecting the F11 key allowing the retrieval of "recovery build" image from the Acronis Secure Zone® to bring the server back online.
Although BT has not needed to use Acronis True Image Enterprise Server in a real disaster recovery situation so far, it has been running tests in order to be prepared if such an event should occur. The BT team has been taking images of the server systems, virtualising them and testing patches in a test environment to determine how the system will react when it is needed. BT has also been focusing the current installations on the shared servers for backups, working to reduce the number of backup tapes and moving to imaging so that an up-to-date recovery set of images is available for the previous weeks' information.
Iain Majury, Head of Managed Services, BT Ireland.- "We feel secure knowing that with Acronis True Image Enterprise Server we can recover a failed system in minutes. This means our customers information is safe and on call."
"Maintaining an active, up-and-running system is crucial to BT as well as its customers," said Walter Scott, Acronis CEO. "Without requiring any special training and without any issues or problems through the installation process, BT has reduced the potential downtime of its servers considerably. Through a systematic evaluation and testing process, BT found a reliable, fast and inexpensive recovery system."