Rochford District Council in Essex has claimed it has saved significant time on standard security processes, using a new backup system.

The council implemented a system from supplier Acronis, covering data across physical and virtual environments. More than 25 years of local council historical data had to be protected, as well as growing volumes of newly created data being backed up every day.

Backup processes are now complete by 4am each morning, instead of sometimes intruding into standard work time. The council also wanted a system that enabled disk-to-disk backup and recovery in an environment that included 50 HP servers and 50 VMware ESXi licences.

To address the requirements, the council deployed Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 software. It said that through faster backup times it can save two hours of labour every day, and the data deduplication system with the software saves 68 percent of storage space.

Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 integrates with VMware for protection across both physical and virtual environments. The ability to backup disk-to-disk increases the speed and reliability of backups, it said.

Rochford had previously been using Veritas Backup Exec version 10 to back up its servers. An assessment by consultants at SunGard Availability Services concluded that Rochford's existing server restore times were longer than needed. In addition, the software did not support disk-to-disk backup, which was assessed as being more reliable and faster than traditional tape methods.

The council decided to look for an alternative solution that could meet the backup, recovery and disk-to-disk needs of his hybrid physical and virtual server infrastructure.  

Barrie Madsen, contract manager at SunGard, said that with the new system the council "can now do a lot more with the same amount of equipment".

He added: "We can backup the disk to an image server, which is then backed up to tape, so we can store the backups off site. Backing up to disk is much speedier than the previous process." The process is now complete by 4am each morning.

Rochford said that before implementing the system, it received many helpdesk calls concerning the accidental deletion or misplacement of files. Previously, to restore a single file typically took about three hours if it was to be recovered from the tape. Now the IT staff can recover a file in a couple of minutes if it is stored on the image server.