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ERP backup all wrapped up

Article Type: Case Study          Published: 01-2016         Views: 8892      



International Greetings has found a better way to backup its ERP and other business data in the Cloud, and now enjoys shorter backup windows and reduced bandwidth requirements as well as improved risk management and DR planning

International Greetings PLC is one of the world's leading designers, manufacturers, importers and distributors of gift packaging and greetings, stationery and creative play products.

Founded as a design company in South Wales in 1979, International Greetings has grown into a £210 million business which is listed on the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and employs around 2000 staff world wide. It provides its products to high street retailers in the UK, Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia. Its UK headquarters are in Eversholt, Bedfordshire.

International Greetings is the Royal Warrant holder for the supply of Tom Smith crackers and gift wrap to the Royal family. In April 2014 HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh opened the company's new production facility in Ystrad Mynach in Wales.

International Greetings PLC turned to iomart because the amount of non-design data it needed to protect was getting hard to manage with traditional, tape-based backup. A move to the Cloud was on the cards. iomart was recommended through industry contacts and the relationship began in late 2013.

Mike Harris, Group IT Manager for International Greetings, explains, "We knew we needed to move to the Cloud to back up our data. It was taking a lot of time to change tapes and put them into a safe on site. We had a successful trial of EMC's Avamar with iomart who, at the time had the largest Avamar grids. It went well and we've been using it ever since."

iomart delivers a Cloud backup solution that is based on EMC's Enterprise-grade Avamar platform. The solution is delivered from iomart's Tier 3 data centres which are fully accredited to ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 20000 standards.

The solution is a true Cloud backup system that combines Avamar's enterprise-grade features with iomart's intuitive Cloud Control Panel. International Greetings can configure and change the deployments as they need to, allowing them to flex up and down easily according to demand.

One of the key differentiating features of Avamar is that it only sends back changes but when they are received, creates a full and verified backup every day. This allows Mike and his team to minimise backup windows as well as reducing bandwidth requirements. It gives International Greetings certainty that a full backup has been taken and that the backed up data can be rapidly restored to any location.

The Cloud solution International Greetings has with iomart has evolved and improved over time. Today it encompasses not only online backup but storage archiving as well as content filtering for the Group's business laptops to protect them from potential cyber-attack. iomart also provides email filtering for International Greetings' subsidiary distribution company Anker International in Newport Pagnell.

The company uses iomart to back up all data from its ERP system, all of its shared files, plus its email and overall business archive. This amounts to several Terabytes of live data. "What we really like about using iomart's EMC Avamar solution is that we can store different types of data with different retention periods," Mike explains. "We store some of the data that we can't afford to lose, such as sensitive financial documents, for up to 26 weeks, whereas we only store our tapes for six weeks. For other data, where we only need a short retention period, we'll just store it for a month. It all depends on how far we need to go back."

EMC's Avamar treats every backup, no matter how small, as a full backup - so there is the potential to bring everything back from a small backup window. This gives International Greetings the ability to only backup 5Gb but restore 300Gb from the full set. "This is important for us in enabling the Disaster Recovery plan," says Mike. "We can restore that machine elsewhere and restore a full set of data from it."

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