With 230 employees working out of offices in Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, Scrutton Bland marked its 100-year anniversary in 2019 as a leading provider of financial services to business and private clients.
Scrutton Bland is a privately owned firm, offering specialist tax, accountancy, insurance and independent financial planning advice to business and private clients throughout the UK.
Top accountants Scrutton Bland halved the amount of data they were being charged for and saved 100 man hours by adopting Redstor’s true cloud-to-cloud protection.
ICT Director Ian Doe revealed how the firm has also saved £2,500 per annum by dispensing with additional hardware costs for a backup server and a growing number of hard drives. Scrutton Bland’s IT team now find it easier to comply with regulations, and no longer worry about backups overrunning and impacting on the working day by slowing down the system.
Ian is very clear why he chose Redstor to back up the firm’s 60 servers, saying: “We were in the process of moving our servers to Azure, so that led us to look at cloud-based backup. We didn’t want to back it all up to Microsoft as having everything in one place seemed like a risky strategy.
“Then there was our on-prem environment. We didn’t have any problems with Veeam, but our data was growing to such an extent that we were using 6TB hard drives and backing up every day of the week, as well as having another hard drive for each month of the year.
“These would be kept off site at technicians’ houses and, although they were encrypted at hardware level, there was always a risk they could be lost or stolen, while all the data we were creating meant going out and buying bigger hard drives every year. Now we just sign the order with Redstor to protect more data.”
Constant investment in legacy hardware to cope with data growth
Having data offsite for resilience - without incurring costs for transporting and storing physical media
Requirement to fetch hard drives when deleted or corrupted data needs recovering
Backups overrunning, adversely impacting on infrastructure
Requirement to back up O365 data out of Microsoft for compliance reasons
Finding a solution that is quick to deploy, secure and easy to manage
Retention complexities, making compliance time-consuming
Cloud-based solution with no capital expenditure
Back up to cloud and manage remotely
Stream data in real time to any device with InstantData, giving users immediate access to files
Protect wide range of environments with agent-based, lightweight, efficient client
True cloud-to-cloud protection, based on price per GB
Set up within 15 minutes for intelligent, secure, policy-driven automation and sophisticated reporting
Adjust and automate retention policy to enable deletion of data that cannot be kept beyond seven years
Save £2,500pa in additional hardware costs for backup server and hard drives
Free up 100 man hours per annum
Keep staff working, end downtime, no charge for restores
Backups less intrusive on servers and can now be done during office hours without slowing down system
Avoid having O365 data on one platform with a solution that can work out 10x cheaper than alternatives
Easy installation, no training costs and ability to scale up or down easily as demand changes
Comply with regulations and manage by exception, freeing up IT time for business-driven initiatives
Cost-effective to set up and run
With Redstor’s pioneering technology, only changed data is transmitted and stored.
Intelligent backup technology radically reduces the cost of data management and Scrutton Bland only pay for the data transmitted, making it cost-effective to set up and run.
Ian said: “We have a 20TB SAN, and from what we could see, we had 12 terabytes stored on it. I assumed that’s what we would be charged for, but Redstor only record the amount of data selected to be protected and that was only 6TB.
“To pay only for the actual data we protect was a lot cheaper than alternatives I looked at.
“We were paying for the Veeam software, but cancelled that licence. The cost of using Veeam was pretty much the same as what we now pay Redstor - but we now get all the benefits of backing up in the cloud.
“When I approached the partners at the firm and said it would cost a fraction more for cloud back-ups they jumped at the chance.
“Redstor’s console is nice and easy to understand. I can go in there straight away and see how many terabytes I am backing up.
"With this greater visibility I’m now more conscious of how much data we have on our hard drives and when one approaches capacity.”
Unlike many other providers, with Redstor there is no charge for restores or bandwidth. This means there’s no penalty whenever Ian’s team test the firm’s DR capability.
Quick and easy to install, Redstor’s software allowed Scrutton Bland to be up and running in 15 minutes.
Ian said: “A Redstor technician showed us how to set up the MSI package so we could just roll it out ourselves. It is very intuitive.
"It only took me a few minutes to show the others how to install it, and half an hour to show them how to do restores and backups.”
Minimising the cost of downtime
Dealing with requests to recover accidentally deleted or corrupted data is no longer the headache it once was for Ian and his team.
He said: “We are constantly surprised at the amount of file-level restores we have to do when users overwrite stuff accidentally or there’s an issue with corrupted files.
"Previously if we needed to do a restore from a couple of days earlier, someone had to go home and collect the relevant hard drive.
“We would often have to ask the user how important the restore was and whether it could wait until the next day. Now we don’t need to worry about that.
“Having a backup in the cloud means we can recover at any point in time and it literally takes only minutes, rather than the half an hour it used to take to fetch a hard drive - if that’s how far away the member of staff lived.
“We also estimate we’ve saved 100 man-hours per annum now that we no longer have to swap over the hard drives.”
With Redstor, backed-up data is encrypted at all times, including before it is automatically sent offsite for DR.
Previously, in the event of a major issue, Scrutton Bland’s legacy tech may have led to delayed access while an entire data set was recovered.
With Redstor’s unique, user-driven streaming technology, there is no need to wait for a full recovery. At the click of a button, Ian knows the firm can be up and running within seconds, not days.
Organisations can recover physical, virtual or cloud-hosted machines to VMware or Hyper-V in just a few clicks, and keep on working.
So, should Scrutton Bland suffer a hardware failure, a malware or ransomware attack, or any other activity which might threaten operations – downtime and disruption would no longer be an issue.
How easy is it to budget with your current way of being billed for data management?
- Very easy
- It could be more straightforward
- Difficult to work out
- Hugely complicated
Saving staff valuable time
Monitoring and managing data were previously tedious and time-consuming tasks with Scrutton Bland’s legacy backup technology.
Ian said: “Previously if a backup failed, the next night you would have more to do, and sometimes it would fall outside of the backup window and then it would cause system slowness problems.
“The Redstor backup is a lot less intrusive on the servers so we are able to do backups during office hours without impacting on users. They don’t even know it’s happening - whereas before we only ever did backups out of hours.”
With Redstor, cloud backups run to an automated schedule, allowing Scrutton Bland to back up data as little or as often as the firm likes. This eliminates manual overheads and reduces the risk of human error, improving reliability.
Ian said: “Redstor sends us an alert every day to tell us what servers might have had a problem, so we have a look at that, sort it and rerun them again.”
O365 protection is part of the deal - no cap-ex or licence fees
With Microsoft explicitly stating that ‘point-in-time restore of data is not in the scope of Office 365’, Ian was keen to operate a separate backup strategy for Scrutton Bland’s O365 data.
As a trusted adviser to many of the UK’s top 50 accountancy firms, Redstor provides true cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery.
When it came to protecting O365, Ian particularly welcomed Redstor’s pricing model, which is based on a low cost per GB rather than price per user.
He said: “I contacted Redstor about Exchange and was told O365 was all included.
"To find out it was still just the one cost for total data selected, was a nice surprise.
"I was very pleased to discover that because I had been looking at third-party providers.
“Within minutes I had tested it on a few mailboxes and it all worked fine. I just ticked a few boxes and literally backed up everything. Now we have SharePoint, Exchange Online and OneDrive protected by Redstor.”
How much of your data is redundant, obsolete or trivial?
- Less than 10%
- No more than 30%
- About half
- At least 70%, maybe more
- Don't know
Extend life of expensive hardware
As Scrutton Bland continue to generate data, Ian has seen primary storage space quickly reach capacity.
The opportunity to avoid any unanticipated investment in additional hardware by offloading inactive data to Redstor’s cloud, while always maintaining the capability for instant access, particularly appeals to Ian.
We are keen to look at archiving data with Redstor because we can see how we can start saving. The cost benefits of moving data off Azure hard drives and onto Redstor are clear. It is definitely cheaper than keeping it in Azure.”
Ian Doe, ICT Director at Scrutton Bland
Any data that Scrutton Bland archives with Redstor comes as part of the service - at no extra cost.
Automated backup and archiving enables management by exception, freeing up IT staff to add value with business-driven initiatives.
With powerful monitoring and sophisticated reporting, the IT team can also easily evidence compliance. As a firm that generates financially sensitive data, Scrutton Bland is highly regulated.
Ian said: “For GDPR purposes I wanted a provider that offered an automated retention policy on our data.
"With Redstor I know it will be purged automatically in seven years without me having to worry.
“I wouldn’t have had that with the hard drives because it would just sit there until someone deletes it manually.
"To sum up, Redstor is a very cost-effective, easy-to-use, cloud-based system.”