Partner Success Story

Symmetric IT Group Increases Margins with All-in-One BCDR Solution


x360Recover for appliance-based and appliance-free backups delivers fast and frictionless recovery.

With Chain-Free backup technology, Axcient support, and a simple stack, Symmetric IT Group provides uninterrupted business continuity, meets a variety of client needs and budgets, and increases profits by decreasing service tickets and vendor management.

x360Recover was easy to set up, it has  reduced our ticket count, and the price point can’t be beat. We just love working with Axcient. From the initial sales process to support, the people there are phenomenal.” – George Lakiotis, CEO and vCIO of Symmetric IT Group

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The Challenge

Expensive and Complex BDR Solutions Cut MSP Profits

Tampa Managed Cloud Security and IT Services Provider, Symmetric IT Group is no stranger to natural disasters, which is why they value their business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) above all else. After transitioning from the on-prem, tape backup world to a cloud-based solution, Symmetic IT Group was disappointed with new problems. George Lakiotis, CEO and vCIO of Symmetric IT Group, describes their initial solution, “It was overcomplicated, overpriced, and took forever to set up. Backups were slow and if there was a problem – forget it – you were on the phone for hours.”

Symmetric IT Group’s time spent navigating complex management tasks was distracting and frustrating techs, increasing client costs and hurting their bottom line. George says, “It made us less profitable. The longer we have to sit on the phone with a vendor troubleshooting something, the less profitable we’re able to be.” With tickets coming in multiple times a week, it became apparent that Symmetric IT Group needed a new solution.

The Solution

x360Recover with Chain-Free Backups Enables Speed, Flexibility, Choice

Symmetric IT Group needed simple backup efficiency that worked without issue. After demoing some products, George was shocked by what the market offered.

Everybody was as slow as molasses. It took forever for a backup to get from the site to the solution, and that wasn’t going to work for us.” Luckily, the Axcient x360Recover for BCDR demo went better. George says, “It was awesome. It blew our minds. We started a backup job on a Friday, thinking it would be done by Sunday, and it finished Saturday morning.”

Since then, Symmetric IT Group has relied on x360Recover for BCDR and recently started using the hardware-free deployment option, Direct-to-Cloud (D2C), for cloud-based backup in the Axcient Cloud. George praises D2C as a solution for budget-conscious clients who want to avoid expensive device costs and maintenance, as well as for lowering internal resources typically spent on on-site visits and device management. With that said, the ability to meet both traditional, appliance-based backup needs and cloud-based, hardware-free backup needs with only one solution provides flexibility without complexity and cost.

Axcient’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) compatibility allows Symmetric IT Group to provide appliances that match budgets. George explains, “It’s been extremely beneficial for our smaller clients who can’t spend thousands of dollars on a device. Sometimes, we’re able to find equipment for much less while ensuring business continuity with an on-prem appliance.”

Additionally, Axcient’s proprietary Chain-Free backup technology eliminates the manual reseeding and time-consuming restore tasks contributing to recovery time, increased management costs, and lower profits. “With x360Recover, we don’t have to restore all the incrementals from the last full backup. We can either pick the last one and recover, or spin up the hard drive, pull the deleted data, and copy it over to the client. Or, if we want to see what changed in an environment – and we use this a lot for auditing purposes – we spin up a copy of the server, see what changed or how the server was set up before changes, and we spin them up. I absolutely love that feature.” Being able to compare the live server with the virtualized backup allows for faster restore after accidental deletions, which occur often.

For remote clients, Direct-to-Cloud is just so much easier than having to wait until they get into the office and then back up to the device, back up to the appliance. Direct-to-Cloud solved that problem by sending backups directly off-site. I am very happy with it.”  – George Lakiotis, CEO and vCIO of Symmetric IT Group

The Results

Solution Efficiency + Low Overhead = Profitability

With Axcient x360Recover, Symmetric IT Group enjoys 40% to 70% margins and has reduced ticket counts from multiple times a week to less than once a quarter. From a business perspective, the reduction in management time and increase in margins has contributed to Symmetric IT Group’s profitability and growth.

From a recovery perspective, D2C first proved its recovery value just two weeks after being deployed for an out-of-state client that was waiting on a new server to replace their old one. Like Symmetric IT Group predicted, the old server died, and D2C saved the day. George says, “We restored the server in the Axcient Cloud, set up a VPN, and they were able to RDP into their computers and connect to the restored server in the cloud. Without Direct-to-Cloud, the client would have been down for two weeks because one, they’re out-of-state, and two, there were supply chain issues. Everything worked out really well, though, and they’re very happy.”

Another time, after Hurricane Irma caused mass destruction, Symmetric IT Group had to restore a client vital to the state’s recovery. Their client ran the fiber for all the major internet service providers and completely lost power. Thankfully, Symmetric IT Group confirmed their backup integrity before the storm hit, and they were able to spin up all of the client’s servers in the cloud. “Axcient prepared all of our servers knowing that we were in the storm’s path and we would have to spin up. We got our client back up within four hours, and they were able to go out and help. Without Axcient, who knows what would have happened. They didn’t get power for three or four days after the storm.”

Moving forward, Symmetric IT Group will continue working with Axcient’s growing and regularly updated features and capabilities. They’re considering the Local Cache option with their D2C deployment to expand cost-effective solutions for clients.

It’s very rare that we’ll get an issue, and if there is, we call support, and they walk us through it. We’ve also learned how to resolve things ourselves, and most of the time we figure it out. It doesn’t take long, and we don’t spend anywhere near the amount of time we used to with our old solution.”   – George Lakiotis, CEO and vCIO of Symmetric IT Group

How much could you save with fewer backup issues, less TCO, and just one vendor?

Find out with an inside look at Axcient x360Recover, Direct-to-Cloud, and Chain-Free backups:
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