Build Group is a San Francisco-based general contracting company that takes on all aspects of construction from structural design and foundations to interiors and finish work. Projects can be as complex as new residential structures or as focused as a Tesla showroom. All of their projects require a great deal of planning involving voluminous CAD and Office files and SQL databases. Immediate access to this data is critical for day-to-day construction activities, and data is subject to strict records-retention policies, with some content saved for ten years. Their IT team supports nearly 450 employees in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, and an office in Seattle is opening soon.
Build Group had used Dell AppAssure for server backups, protecting data in local network-attached storage (NAS). But the nature of construction planning and execution creates huge amounts of data, and backups were running nearly constantly, including during normal business hours. This led to network congestion and consistently sluggish performance. Plus, with an entirely physical backup solution, there was a risk of complete data loss in the case of a disaster or major infrastructure failure. And with many mobile employees, hotspot connections from cafes and hotels made endpoint backups more complex and time-consuming.
To address the server backup challenges, Build Group’s IT team set out to implement a modern, cloud-based backup and recovery solution. Druva Phoenix met their key requirements:
According to Adam, Build Group’s IT Systems Administrator, “We saw the cloud as the way of the future, and we’d always been looking to adopt cloud services and reduce on-prem infrastructure.” Moving server backup to the cloud removed the risk of data loss in the case of a physical disaster, as well as freed the comparatively small IT team from the day-to-day management of backup systems and storage. Plus, Druva Phoenix is born in the cloud and runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), providing seamless access to Glacier for cold storage. This provided significant cost savings for a company like Build Group with large amounts of data and long retention policies. Finally, Druva’s patented global deduplication was another driver for the Build Group’s adoption of Druva Phoenix. Only unique data is backed up, resulting in smaller backup file sizes.
Since the original deployment, Build Group has started using Druva inSync for endpoint backup, particularly with their Exchange 365 accounts. Although Microsoft offers 30-day backup protection, it just wasn’t enough. “Dealing with backups is always one of the biggest headaches in IT, so not having to worry about it lets us focus on other things,” Adam said.
With Build Group’s data volumes now exceeding 11 TB, data dedupe has proven especially valuable. The amount of data transferred over the network is far less, and since implementing Phoenix, the company IT team saw dramatic reductions in network congestion. They could quickly complete backups in off-hours, typically in less than half an hour.
In addition, Adam said, “We’ve cut down on overall storage, we don’t have to worry about onsite hardware, we just have a small agent on all the servers, and with centralized management, instead of logging in to a backup exec server at each office, we do it all locally.” Build Group has restored full VMs running ESXi and according to Adam, “With 200 Mbps fiber, we’ve restored 100 GB in half an hour and it would probably take less than a day for a 2 TB server.”
Similarly, Build Group has witnessed equally impressive results with Druva inSync. A break-in a year and a half ago resulted in five stolen laptops—laptops belonging to executives. The devices were replaced, and with Druva inSync, their environments and all of their original content was restored within a day.
Druva Phoenix and Druva inSync are helping Build Group meet larger organizational goals as well, such as their overall disaster recovery (DR) strategy. Whether it’s from a server or smartphone, all corporate data is safe and accessible for fast restores and even VM spin-ups.
My favorite thing about the Druva solution is the simplicity. I love the single pane of glass approach; it’s easy to get what you need.”
— Adam Kailian, IT Systems Administrator, Build Group