Andritz is a global supplier of systems and services for hydropower stations, the pulp and paper industry, the metalworking and steel industries, as well as for solid/liquid separation in the municipal and industrial sectors. Their business, employing over 25,000 employees scattered across 200 worldwide offices, consists of many different organizations as best-in-class companies are acquired to complement existing services.
According to Brian Bagwell, Director of IT for North America, “As a global company, anytime we talk about data, the first topic that comes up is data privacy – where is the data coming from and where is it going to reside.” This puts a great deal of pressure on the organization to understand where its data is at all times and ensure that it is sufficiently protected.
The Limitations of Legacy Solutions
The Andritz IT team is responsible for this very diverse, decentralized environment. The company’s offices range in size from less than ten to more than 200 people, and may only have one file server or dozens of any mixture of file, SQL and application servers. The IT team is geographically dispersed across multiple locations, but there are also some offices without any IT team members on site.
Andritz relied on a tape-based server backup solution, which meant that in some locations non-IT staff are the ones to make sure that tapes are changed, etc. Even routine tasks such as verifying that backups had occurred were time consuming; the company estimates that their IT team spent about 70 hours each month just for this activity. And without any onsite IT, related tasks, such as restoring data from tape, were even more complicated; it frequently took multiple tries to locate the correct tape and then talk the onsite employee through loading it, finding the necessary files and restoring them. Plus, in an environment with so many dependencies, all of those steps may be completed only to discover there was no backup up of a particular file from which to recover. Another objective was to provide better disaster recovery, as well as ensure that they could access their data from anywhere, something which they lacked with their existing tape-based data protection service.
As Phoenix was deployed, the Andritz team had to work around the limited network capacity in some office locations. By leveraging Phoenix’s bandwidth throttling, they were able to restrict the amount of network used by backup processes, reducing business impact. They created different profiles for different offices based on availability and also configured multiple, independent schedules. As a result, backups automatically adjust to take advantage of times when business is closed, such as on weekends, and use more bandwidth during these times.
Andritz experienced the benefits of Phoenix immediately. They now have single-pane access to all server data across all of their dispersed locations. The Phoenix dashboard provides this unified view, plus granular management of data, making it an integral part of data protection at the company. According to Bagwell, “Phoenix gives us visibility into our data. If we can see it, we can manage it.” Today, an IT admin spends only 30 minutes each day verifying that backups have completed as planned, and the dozens of hours saved each month on this one process are redirected into more strategic tasks.