Adam Hilliker, the Director of IT at Intermountain Electronics (IE), has watched the company grow by 20% each of the six years he’s been with the company. That rapid growth has created a fast-paced environment, and the internal IT team must work hard to be sure the IT environment always works flawlessly.
Hilliker and his team of nine are responsible for all technology across the board including manning the help desk and administering servers, software, networking, as well as security.
When Hilliker started at IE six years ago, there was no data protection platform in place, not even for email backups. They chose Unitrends as their solution and used it for a few years, but it wasn’t a great fit for a few reasons. Firstly, even though they put a backup appliance at every facility, Hilliker said, “We realized quickly that there was no way for us to continue growing with Unitrends as our backup solution. It could not keep up with our growth."
Hilliker does his budget at the end of every year, but with Unitrends, he never could estimate what his backup costs would be.
Far worse than the budgeting issue was not being able to recover data. Hilliker recalled, “My hope every day was that nobody put in a request for a recovery ticket. If we were lucky, it (recovery time) was 45 minutes. If we were unlucky, it would take 12 hours. It was basically to the point of being an unusable service."
They had this problem because the Unitrends solution only had a 90-day retention period. In fact, if they wanted to retain more than 90 days of data, additional fees would be charged, and after 90 days the data would be purged.
Another issue was protecting their business management data. IE hosts their ERP system locally using a SQL Server backend. Hilliker said, “Unitrends could not keep up with our personal requirements to back up that SQL Server database.”
As the company moved to Microsoft 365, an unfortunate event made Hilliker realize that they had no protection for the data in users’ mailboxes or for OneDrive. Before one employee left the company, they strategically deleted their emails so they couldn’t be recovered. When the IT team went to look for the emails, their mailbox was empty, and critical business information was gone forever.
Another gap that Hilliker also realized was the need for file-level security against ransomware. The company already used Mimecast as an email security gateway and CrowdStrike for endpoint protection. But Hilliker also wanted to know that something beside him was keeping an eye on the server files.