News/Trends, Tech/Engineering

Stories from the Field: Port of New Orleans Streamlines Critical Data Protection

Organizations that are using legacy data protection models face serious challenges. Legacy systems are inefficient, and IT teams spend hours managing backups, often having to travel between locations to back up or retrieve data. And most legacy systems rely on local infrastructure that’s vulnerable to natural disaster, making them less secure than today’s cloud-based solutions. Legacy systems are also expensive, both in physical infrastructure and the manpower required to manage them. Today’s cloud-first approach addresses these issues by simplifying data management and ensuring that data is secure, backups are readily available, and IT staff can focus on other important issues.

For example, migrating from a legacy system to the cloud-based Druva Phoenix has transformed the data backup operations at the Port of New Orleans, according to Chief Technology Officer David Cordell. As the heart of one of the world’s busiest port system that passes over 30 million tons of goods and cargo through 14,500 miles of waterways, railroads, and interstate highways, the Port of New Orleans is critical to the national economy. If the port went down for just three days, the national economic impact would be close to $500 million. Data protection is paramount for keeping the port secure, yet their backup infrastructure was inefficient and not secure enough to meet the future needs of the port.

As Cordell explains, Druva Phoenix drastically improved the port’s backup performance and reliability. “The move to Druva gave us the opportunity to consolidate data that was previously dispersed throughout the enterprise and off-site,” Cordell says. “Previously, it would take us too long to free certain files out of the server. Now, with Druva’s cloud infrastructure, we have the ability to restore and back up data within seconds and continue to meet data requirements and business directives in a timely manner.”

Because data was distributed across numerous locations in their legacy system, Port of New Orleans employees had to shuttle between multiple sites to perform system backups and file retrievals. The tasks themselves were onerous, taking hours to complete. Employees might spend up to 10 minutes just logging onto the system, backups took 4 to 8 hours, and it would take hours or even days to actually retrieve files. Now, with Druva Phoenix, backups take 30 minutes or less, and file retrieval happens in a matter of moments.

The outdated legacy backup system was a drain on IT resources in other ways as well. The system’s complexity meant that IT staff had to individually handle every single retrieval request, any one of which could take hours to complete. Druva Phoenix is so easy to use that individual users can now restore their own files. Since the Port of New Orleans adopted Phoenix, calls to the IT department have dropped by 60 to 70%.

Beyond inefficiency, data in the legacy system was not as well protected as it needed to be. Decentralized infrastructure left the port’s data vulnerable to another storm like Katrina, and the IT staff was overtaxed trying to keep legacy systems up to date with modern standards set by Homeland Security and the Coast Guard. Today, Druva’s cloud-first approach and global network ensure that the port is protected against natural disaster. Druva Phoenix protects data both in-flight and at-rest, and Cordell can monitor live backup status, VM status, and storage usage from a central dashboard. The IT department can now access a comprehensive overview of what’s happening throughout the system at all times, and because all data backs up to the cloud, it’s protected against natural disaster.

Setting a Course
Beyond ensuring the current security and availability of the data for the Port of New Orleans, Cordell is also looking to expand their capabilities by adopting a forward-thinking data protection strategy that includes cloud application environments as well. “In the future, what we’re planning to do with Druva is be able to backup Office 365 or SharePoint,” explains Cordell, and “as we move forward, as we start being able to use SharePoint or even Salesforce, Druva gives us the option to be able to back up those platforms at a granular level.”

Look at the security that Druva has to offer, and it’s an easy product to choose. If you compare it to any other competitor, you’ll see that Druva comes out on top. — David Cordell, Chief Technology Officer of the Port of New Orleans

Read the full case study here