A north of England housing association said it is saving £70,000 a year by using a new data back-up and replication system.

Together Housing is responsible for over 35,000 homes that house more than 50,000 people in the north of England.

Together Housing is using data management systems from Veeam Software as it moves towards "a 100 percent virtual environment". By using Veeam Backup, data back-up windows "have been halved", recovery times have been "reduced by over 80 percent", and the organisation is saving over £70,000 per year in technology and consultancy costs, said Together Housing.

Lee Richardson, systems engineer at Together Housing, said: “As we pushed towards a 100 percent virtual IT infrastructure with the accompanying cost and flexibility benefits it brings, we needed to be certain that the applications and data on that infrastructure would be easily recoverable in the event of a disaster."

Richardson said the organisation's existing legacy data management systems did not provide the flexibility and cost-effectiveness needed to work in an increasingly large and complex virtual environment.

Serving 1,500 users and 20 locations, the organisation's 300 servers are currently split between 80 percent virtual and 20 percent physical machines, although the number of virtual machines is steadily growing.

While Together Housing performed some back-up and recovery actions in-house, it also employed a third-party organisation to help with its back-up and recovery, providing services such as replication which were difficult for Together Housing to provide itself using its existing tools.

The organisation was finding it needed numerous visits from vendor engineer teams, often lasting several days, to deal with data problems. The tools and services were also costing too much. It therefore decided to deploy the Veeam system to speed data management in its growing virtual environment and save money at the same time.

Richardson said: "By providing all of the capabilities we need in one easy-to-use package we have saved at least £20,000 per year on our legacy back-up tools, as well as £50,000 on our back-up and recovery provider, since we can now provide all these functions in-house."

Back-up windows have also been reduced by more than half, from 16 hours to seven hours, which includes time for replication.

In other data back-up news Quantum recently announced an enterprise-class back-up service that includes data deduplication aimed at protecting data in virtual server environments. The new cloud service is built on Quantum's vmPRO virtual machine backup software and its new virtual deduplication appliance, the DXi V1000.

The all-virtual platform serves as the foundation for Xerox's recently announced cloud back-up and disaster recovery services.