Better together -
Redstor with Microsoft
How Brandon Trust improved business continuity and made cost savings
A better overall solution
UK charity chooses Redstor to
complement popular cloud service
Brandon Trust is a United Kingdom charitable organisation working with and for people with learning disabilities. Brandon Trust exists to enable children, young people and adults with learning disabilities and autism to live life in the way they choose. It does this by providing high-quality, individualised support that focuses on enabling people to achieve their dreams and truly live free.
A major priority for Richard Burgin when he took over as Head of Information Services at the Brandon Trust was to improve business continuity provision for a charity that has 2,000 staff working out of 230 sites in the South of England.
Richard was keen to diversify Brandon’s backup strategy so that it wasn’t wholly dependent on a single cloud vendor by having all their data hosted by Microsoft Azure.
Data access and multi-cloud support
Addressing disaster recovery concerns was not the only reason behind Richard’s decision to move Brandon’s backup provision to Redstor.
With Redstor’s data management solution, Brandon now have borderless visibility and on-demand access to all their data, wherever it is stored, through a single control centre.
It also enables organisations to move data between cloud platforms and on-premise solutions without downtime. Users can access data easily while the migration occurs in the background. Using a common friendly interface across all the major cloud providers enables customers to restore data to a variety of different locations.
Single solution to solve multiple challenges
Moving to the cloud was a smart move for Brandon Trust - and using Redstor in conjunction with a popular cloud service has provided a much better overall solution.
Simple logic dictates that if Azure holds all live instance and backups, we have a single point of failure.
- Lengthy restore times and complex file mounting approaches for individual file restores
- Difficult to predict how much service will cost
- Major risk to business continuity by having all data on one platform
- Quick recovery and fast, cost-effective, secure offsite backup.
- Guaranteed security with data encrypted at source
- Simple predictable pricing and transparent billing
- Back up to separate platform with ability to migrate data to alternative cloud provider
- Files restored in minutes rather than hours
- Ability to budget with confidence
- Data in different location to ensure business continuity
Transparency of billing
IT boss now budgets with confidence
Lower cost of ownership
Switching to Redstor’s simple and predictable, subscription-based pricing model was also a major improvement. Brandon now only pay for the data they use, with transparent fixed costs.
By using Redstor alongside Microsoft, Richard has been able to budget with confidence and deliver cost savings for a charity that supports people with learning disabilities and autism.
He said: “Cloud solutions like Microsoft that offer discounts for education and charity are so appealing. However, we found costs with Azure backup were more difficult to predict than we would have liked. This made budgeting a challenge.
With Redstor it is easy to predict the cost for the year, based on our existing amount of data.
Transparency of billing
Brandon immediately benefitted from transparency of billing after calling on Redstor to protect 4TB of crucial data.
With easy installation and no hardware costs Brandon can scale up or down as demand changes – and there are no hidden costs and no surprises.
Richard said: “If we need to change the shape of the service, we are very cognisant of what that looks like beforehand. The pricing model is very simple to understand. If we need an extra terabyte, we know exactly how much that will cost.”
Redstor also enables organisations to move data between platforms without downtime. Users can access data easily while the migration occurs in the background.
Save time and reduce complexity
Brandon’s IT staff have cut the time it was taking them to restore a file from – in some cases several hours - to a few minutes. Richard said:
"One way to restore data was to have a dedicated file management server when we imported – but it was more complicated than we would have liked so we used to rely on full server snapshots. From our perspective if someone said ‘I’ve lost this folder and I need this back’, potentially that could have been a four or five-hour restore because you would have to grab the whole server, open files, get the files off and pop them back on the original server.”
Whether data is stored on an organisation’s premises, in the cloud or a hybrid environment, Redstor’s pioneering InstantData, provides on-demand access, allowing organisations to stream data in real time to any device, making downtime a thing of the past.
Restores can now be achieved in a matter of a couple of clicks rather than complex processes.
Searching for lost files is simpler
Locate lost files quickly with InstantData
When users forget where files are or when they were last accessed, Brandon’s IT staff use InstantData to locate them quickly.
InstantData is amazing – a very cool feature. I no longer have to access the server remotely, go into the backup and load the index. With InstantData it’s just a couple of clicks and I’m there.
Andrew Parr, Brandon’s Service Desk Manager
"We can go into someone’s machine and say ‘here’s the directory, have a look’. It’s just another example of how user-friendly Redstor is."
Full system recoveries improve testing process
Redstor makes testing easy by presenting backed-up systems and data for temporary access as a virtual drive and for permanent recovery to a destination of choice.
Andrew said: “We’ve used it quite extensively to revert back to previous versions of software when updates in a test environment have turned out to be a disaster."
Access to files immediately in the event of ransomware or natural disaster
A simple, reliable and secure solution for peace of mind
Brandon’s data is now stored offsite in UK data centres and Richard is happy that in the event of a ransomware attack or natural disaster, downtime will be kept to a minimum.
He said: "Redstor doesn’t back up more data than absolutely necessary, the ability to restore is very simple and the on cost is really appealing along with the ease of the application."
Brandon’s IT staff have been so impressed with the Redstor solution that they have already recommended Redstor to other companies and colleagues, describing it as the simplest, most reliable solution, they have ever used.
The charity has been able to make intelligent decisions on backup and disaster recovery capabilities, and not only do staff now have the reassurance that they are in control should a major cloud failure occur, but the new approach is actually saving Brandon money as well.
In our opinion Redstor just does it a lot better, a lot easier and a lot quicker – and for the most part a lot cheaper. It has saved several hours on the day and a good couple of years of people's lives that would have been lost through stress.