Alvarez Technology Group
MSP Uses Axcient for All-In-One Backup, Business Continuity, and Disaster Recovery in VMware Environment
Alvarez Technology Group (ATG) manages IT services for more than 70 clients in California’s Salinas Valley. ATG has operated as a managed service provider (MSP) for 10 years, serving law firms, doctors, agro-business, professional services, and other types of companies that want data protection and IT services for one monthly fee.
ATG chose VMware for the flexibility and cost savings of being able to run multiple operating systems and applications on a single computer, and deployed Axcient to seamlessly backup all those operating systems and applications with a reliable and robust single platform for data backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery.
The Mission: Make Downtime Obsolete
ATG operates with the mission: “We make downtime obsolete.” In order to make this mission a reality, President/CEO Luis Alvarez knew he needed a data protection solution that addressed the issue of business continuity. He realized that basic onsite disk backup or tape wouldn’t solve the problem because, in the event of a disaster, it would mean he’d “rebuilding a data center from scratch.” Alvarez tried other solutions that offered business continuity before finding Axcient.
“We used some of the most notable vendors out there, and found that they all had problems,” Alvarez said. “But then we found Axcient, a complete and solid product that delivers on our commitment to ensure our clients’ data is not only backed up, but can also be quickly restored or brought up in a virtualized environment so that even the most significant hardware failure doesn’t result in downtime.”
Axcient provides backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery services for virtual machines as easily as it does for actual machines. As a result, it works seamlessly with VMware to provide ATG and similar MSPs with higher availability, improved manageability, and cost savings.
Greater Availability, Manageability, and Cost Savings
ATG has Axcient units throughout their client base. The business also has VMware 3.5 running on a blade system and deploys VMware to clients either in blade or server mode.
“Using Axcient and VMware results in higher availability,” said Anil Melwani, director of special projects for ATG. “Some use VMware in a cluster environment, so if one server goes down, another can kick in and you can move the data over live. But even if the client doesn’t have a clustered environment, you can still bring the full server image and data set over on the local appliance while repairing the failed server, then bring it back to the main server – and all this can be done seamlessly with no downtime.”
Melwani also said that their work is easier to manage with VMware and Axcient. With VMware, there’s only a single piece of hardware you have to deal with for multiple servers, so if something goes wrong, it’s easier to diagnose. And with Axcient, systems are easier to manage because of the remote monitoring and management (RMM) capability that allows ATG to track the status of all their backups from one central on-demand location.
“With the Axcient Remote Monitoring console we have a single location to monitor and can see everything in one place. It saves us, conservatively, an hour or more a day on trying to monitor the events for our clients,” said Curtis Thomas, director of managed services for ATG.
ATG also finds cost savings from VMware. They used to have 10 physical servers, but are now able to run 10 virtual servers off just 3-4 physical servers. This saves ATG about 30% a month on air conditioning and other power costs, which, in addition to the cost savings, helped them become a green certified business.
All the Features Clients Need
Another benefit of Axcient is that there are no agents to install. Alvarez said that Axcient’s all-in-one solution helps both his business and his clients reduce their IT costs while getting more of the backup features they want. He states that it’s easy to convince his clients that Axcient is a good fit to meet their needs, especially because it includes both onsite and cloud-based services and works smoothly with other software like VMware.
“Axcient is the right solution at the right time. It’s a great play for us and it meets our clients’ reliability and business continuity needs,” Alvarez said. “With Axcient you can tick off all the features our clients need: the data backup, the virtualization, the image backups, the offsite, and the ability to instantly bring up a server in case of a hardware failure. These features and benefits are becoming more and more important to businesses as they realize they need their software, applications, and servers to stay up and running 7/24.”