Customer Story

Burgess & Niple improves business resilience with a SaaS disaster recovery solution

7x

Global deduplication storage savings

50%

Of time reclaimed previously spent managing backups

2x

Faster than previous restore capabilities from tape

About Burgess & Niple

Burgess & Niple (B&N) is a nationally-recognized engineering and architecture design firm in the United States. Its success is driven by a passion for developing practical infrastructure solutions with exceptional concern for quality of life, safety, and sustainability. At B&N, every project starts with a team of creative, highly skilled people who are eager to learn and committed to solving clients’ challenges.

The challenge

When Rod Dickerson accepted the role of Chief Technology Officer at engineering and architecture design firm Burgess & Niple (B&N), his primary focus was to integrate technology that would support our adapting and flexible workforce.

The IT team manages a central location along with 25 remote offices across 12 states – all connected via a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). The team is responsible for 100 VMware virtual machines (VMs) and 400 virtual desktops.

B&N is moving toward a cloud-first strategy, and staff already take advantage of industry software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications like Autodesk and Bentley. But the team runs a hybrid virtual desktop integration (VDI) infrastructure because some applications are more cost-effective to run on-premises. These include Computer Aided-Design (CAD) applications requiring graphics cards the team has on its VDI hosts.

But Dickerson soon realized the backup and disaster recovery (DR) processes could be improved. At the time, the team relied on SAN-based replication with tapes that ran from the replicated site before being shipped off-site.

“It was time consuming for the team, to say the least,” Dickerson said. “It also made people nervous about the potential for data loss or corruption. We had a site-to-site disaster recovery plan, but we didn’t have a regional type failover capability.”

Dickerson knew if the team shifted to cloud-based backup and DR it would reduce complexity and increase cyber resilience.

The solution

Dickerson turned to AWS Marketplace, a digital catalog of ISV offerings that helps decision-makers find, test, buy, and deploy solutions that fit their business needs. After starting research through AWS Marketplace, he uncovered several solutions, including Veeam, Datrium, and the Druva Data Resiliency Cloud.

The Veeam solution was ruled out due to cost and complexity. His team then got a demo of the Datrium replication solution. But it was expensive compared to other options, and Dickerson didn’t see the added value.

That’s when he discovered Druva and chose to conduct a proof of concept (POC). “When we saw Druva at work, it was an easy choice,” Dickerson said. “The Druva Data Resiliency Cloud is the ‘Goldilocks’ of backup solutions because it’s just the right fit for us. The cost is right, and we get a lot of functionality and value for the cost.”

He also appreciated that Druva runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS) since he operates a Microsoft shop and wanted his backups separate from the Microsoft Azure environment.

Dickerson fully replaced the site-to-site replication solution with the Druva Data Resiliency Cloud. He said the Druva team made the implementation simple and hassle-free.

“Honestly, the way we were treated was one of the factors of why we chose Druva,” Dickerson said. “Even though we’re a small firm, we felt like we mattered to Druva and I still feel that way.”

The results

Now, B&N has the cloud-based data backup and disaster recovery it needs to protect its data while ensuring business resilience. The team is confident that the 180 terabytes (TBs) of backup data is secure and easily recoverable in case of accidental deletion, corruption, or ransomware.

“One thing I like about Druva is the immutable nature of the backups. It’s completely protected and isolated from our existing environment. So we’re protected against ransomware, file deletion, and corruption. I appreciate Druva’s vision for the technology , and the seamless execution of the solution,” he added.

And the whole team is reaping the benefits. It’s now at least twice as fast to restore data using the Druva Data Resiliency Cloud rather than tape, and the team spends at least 50 percent less time managing backups.

“I think nearly everyone on the infrastructure team was involved in these tape backups before Druva,” Dickerson said. “Now it’s effectively half of one full-time equivalent. We still monitor backups, of course, and Druva notifies us if there are any issues. But it’s not something we have to actively carve out time for.”

That gives the team added time to focus on more strategic projects for the business.

Another benefit is improved data storage efficiency, as they’ve achieved a global deduplication storage savings of 7x.

The cloud-native data protection also gives the team greater flexibility. It can scale up as the business grows, and easily meet the company’s 20-year data retention policy.

“Here’s the best thing about Druva – it just works,” Dickerson said. “I take it for granted now because I don’t have to think about it.”

Challenges

  • Replication and tape-based backup and recovery were time consuming and expensive for IT admins to manage
  • Previous tape-based solution vendor didn’t have a cloud-native backup option, and the IT team didn’t want to buy, provision, and manage hardware for VM backups
  • No robust DR strategy left the company vulnerable to data loss and ransomware

Solution

  • The Druva Data Resiliency Cloud protects B&N’s data center and remote office data (VMs, files, and VDI) without any hardware, software, or associated complexity 
  • Backups are isolated and immutable copies which protect them from file deletion, corruption, and ransomware attacks
  • Achieved cost-effective cloud DR enabling rapid and orchestrated VM failover in the cloud and eliminating the need for additional software, hardware, or a second managed DR site
  • Meets long-term retention and compliance requirements more easily using automated tiering to lower-cost storage

Results

  • 180 terabytes of company data protected 24/7
  • 7x global deduplication storage savings
  • 50% of time reclaimed that was previously spent managing backups
  • At least 2x faster than previous restore capabilities from tape