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Bonhams Auction House Drops the Hammer on Downtime


LONDON, UKOctober 2,2013Acronis®, a leading provider of data protection solutions, announced a collaboration with Quru,IBM and Red Hat to implement an open source system with disaster recovery capabilities on the IT infrastructure of Bonhams Auction House, one of the UK’s oldest and most successful auctioneers. 

Bonhams Auction House has been selling thousands of priceless antiques all over the world for more than 200 years, achieving record-breaking prices for Keats’ original manuscripts and recently selling the most expensive car in history, Fangio’s Mercedes for $29,650,095. With action houses in London, Paris, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, operating 24/7 is a key part of its success. However, to do this mission critical activity and ensure that it remains operational should a disaster occur, the organisation needed to update its IT systems within two of its US data centres.

However, as with so many other medium-sized enterprises, the cost of achieving minimal downtime through traditional IT models and data protection strategies was becoming unaffordable. Bonhams turned to its partner Quru, a UK-based IBM Partner, to help it resolve the issue by developing and delivering a cost-effective, open-source approach with a reliable data protection solution from Acronis for its backup.

“We migrated Bonhams over to open source software for the foundation of the upgrade and to standardise diverse platforms. This dramatically reduced licensing costs and enabled new disaster recover capabilities that would have been prohibitively expensive on proprietary systems,” said Roland Whitehead, CEO of Quru. “By moving to an open source system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation, with KVM technology, Bonhams was able to reduce the number of servers required by 75 percent from 35 to 8. The solution would have been 40 percent more expensive had Bonhams used a VMware-based approach, based on licensing costs and ongoing support.”

In order to maintain the integrity and availability of real-time transactional data the Auction House also needed to improve disaster recovery measures for the data centres based in New York and San Francisco. Acronis Backup & Recovery® was chosen to support these new systems and machines that Bonhams relies on daily.

“We have limited technical staff in the U.S., so we needed something that could be managed from another location,” said Simon Chiu, Bonhams’ senior systems engineer in San Francisco. “Using Acronis, we are able to take live snapshots of our virtual machines and back them up at either site and synchronise those backup files to each data centre. So, in the event of a catastrophic failure at either site, we can quickly restore the virtual machine from the most recent backup, and all services will be up and running within hours instead of days.”

“Without these open source solutions, Bonhams would never have been able to implement a disaster recovery system,” said Roland Whitehead, CEO of Quru. “The open source system has provided a cost effective and robust computing platform for Bonhams, at a price that the organisation – and many other companies – can afford.”

“We have built a platform that works seamlessly across Linux-based virtual environments and provides multiple targets – tape, disk and cloud. Our close development relationships with IBM and Red Hat have been pivotal in helping customers like Bonhams achieve such impressive efficiencies,” said Dmitri Joukovski, senior vice president, product management, Acronis.

Specs and details:

·          To add efficiency and stability to its operations, Bonhams consolidated 34 servers in its New York and San Francisco offices down to eight IBM System x3650 class servers. These servers are used as virtualisation hosts in a Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation version 3.1 cluster—enabling secure remote management of IT assets and full support for a worldwide disaster-recovery strategy. The servers run Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation Hypervisor, and the infrastructure is managed by just two Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation Managers running on dedicated IBM System x3550 servers, one in each location.

·          Bonham’s is able to perform seamless backups of its virtualised environment with the use of Acronis Backup & Recovery Virtual Edition to back up the IBM servers at each site and replicate the backup data to the other locations.

Read the full case study here: Bonhams Auction House Banishes Antique Servers.

Tweet This: Bonhams auction house protected and prepped for future of online auction bids with Acronis, IBM and Red Hat



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Founded in 1793, Bonhams is a privately owned British auction house and one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The Bonhams name is known worldwide throughout all sectors of the fine art, antiques and collectors markets, with several departments regarded as leaders within their specialist category. Based in London, Bonhams has salerooms in Paris, New York,San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Sydney, as well as a worldwide network of offices in 25 countries.


Quru enables organisations to utilise the most appropriate blend of open source and proprietary technologies to maximise the effectiveness of their IT infrastructure and be better prepared to meet today's business challenges. Quru is a market leader in the technical design, development, deployment and support of open source based solutions that help organisations to reduce costs and increase operational agility and capability.

 Our focus is on developing and deploying inspired enterprise-class, award-winning solutions across key areas - business software product development, complex web applications and mobile apps - together with grid, messaging, and distributed filesystem and virtualisation technologies.


Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualisation technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT. Learn more at



 RedHat®,the Red Hat “Shadow Man”logo, and all Red Hat-based trademarks and logos are trademarks or registeredtrademarksofRedHat,Inc.intheU.S.andothercountries.

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About Acronis

Acronis sets the standard for cyber protection and hybrid cloud storage through its innovative backup, anti-ransomware; disaster recovery, storage, and enterprise file sync and share solutions. Enhanced by AI-based Active Protection technology, blockchain-based authentication and a unique hybrid-cloud architecture, Acronis protects all data in any environment, including physical, virtual, cloud, mobile workloads and applications.

Founded in Singapore in 2003, today the company is trusted by more than 5 million consumers and 500,000 businesses worldwide, including 79 of the top 100 most valuable brands.

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