Simmons Gainsford is one of the top 50 London Chartered accountancy and advisory firms in the UK. With a head office in central London and offices in Sussex and Gibraltar, the firm works with businesses and individuals seeking financial success and security.
As a member of PrimeGlobal, one of the five largest associations of independent accounting firms in the world, Simmons Gainsford has dedicated teams covering east Asia, Russia, eastern Europe and Ireland.
Avoiding unpredictable and escalating costs was a major reason why Simmons Gainsford chose Redstor to protect its data.
Umesh Chohan, head of IT at one of the UK's top accountancy firms, knows it can be very difficult to calculate how much he will pay for data management - and crucially how much to budget for.
Organisations invariably face a complicated combination of charges for storing data, as well as paying to retrieve and upload files and interrogate the cloud platform. However, Redstor pricing is transparent and predictable so there are no hidden costs or time-consuming complications for protecting the 1.5TB data on the servers at four Simmons Gainsford sites in the UK and on the continent.
No charges for holding a local off-site copy, subscription per machine, licence purchase per socket, different types of servers as well as the number of devices, processors, nodes, networks or appliances.
With Redstor’s simple, subscription-based pricing model, Simmons Gainsford only pay per GB for data protected.
Umesh said: “Where Redstor is far superior, is the way the pricing works. When we archive anything in the cloud, we are only charged for live data. This was a big factor that attracted me to them.
“Redstor gives us easy visibility of what our costs will be and allows me to forecast where I will be in six months, two years, five years, whatever.
“With archives it can get very complicated as nobody really understands where it might end up space-wise. We use snapshotting with Redstor a bit differently to how it’s normally used. We do more frequent roll-ups and store them in the cloud.
“It is a bit unusual, but Redstor was happy to take us through it and help us configure it and support us which was really good.”
- Retention and billing complexities
- Keeping staff working while data is recovered
- Finding a solution that is quick to deploy, secure and easy to manage
- Addressing increasing regulation and compliance issues
- Difficulty finding expert support
- Transparent and predictable pricing with no hidden costs or surprises
- InstantData, Redstor’s unique on-demand streaming technology
- A solution that can be set up within 15 minutes and offers intelligent, secure, policy-driven automation and sophisticated reporting
- A data management solution that delivers global search as well as reliable backup and recovery, archiving and disaster recovery
- Support provided by an organisation that is both the technology vendor and infrastructure owner
- Easy installation, no hardware costs and ability to scale up or down as demand changes
- No need to wait for a full recovery, just stream data in real time to any device, making downtime a thing of the past
Quick and easy centralised management of data
Address e-discovery requirements and comply with General Data Protection Regulation by searching and actioning all data wherever it resides
Fast 24/7/365 access to a support team that draws on 20 years’ knowledge and experience within the storage and backup industry
Maintaining business continuity is vital for a top financial firm that has 160 employees working out of four sites across Europe.
Not having access to business data for even a few hours might cause reputational damage, but Umesh knows that in the event that live data is lost, Redstor’s InstantData™ can serve it up immediately from the cloud, on demand, and with minimal effort from the user.
So, should Simmons Gainsford suffer a hardware failure, a malware or ransomware attack, or any other activity which renders the firm unable to operate – downtime and disruption are no longer an issue.
Umesh can move swiftly to ensure employees continue working seamlessly 24/7/365. It’s simply a case of streaming selected files on demand.
He said: “If we did lose a site and needed to recover at another one, we know we can always use Redstor to get hold of key data and keep the business running.
“We can select individual pieces of data and hand it out to staff as and when and keep them functioning, while we recover at another site.
“That’s very important. Undergoing disaster recovery is very stressful. Knowing that we have something on tap in the cloud from Redstor gives me confidence that the business can continue while we iron out any mishaps.
“We’ve done individual file restores on a regular basis, so we are very confident that Redstor would work if we had to invoke DR.
“Recovery is very straightforward and another thing that stands out amongst the rest is the ability to log into the Redstor portal and download individual information so easily. If my team need to go back to half-an-hour’s worth of work, it can be done very quickly.
“Redstor is a lot quicker for doing a file restore than another solution that we have on-prem, which needs to mount a whole VM to bring up data, then do a Windows Explorer copy back to our system. That takes up resources on our infrastructure as mounting that host means using memory to bring up the data and then there’s also the space to consider.
“For example if we had a VM which has 2TBs, we could potentially have 2TBs mounted for the whole time we are doing the recovery.
“If we didn’t have the infrastructure or space to mount these VMs and do what we need to do, and the expertise to do it, the time it would take for a restore can increase quite significantly.”
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
Easy to deploy and manage
Deployed and configured in 15 minutes, Redstor has made data management tasks smaller and simpler for Simmons Gainsford.
Umesh said: “When it comes to backing up servers or clients with other solutions, whether we can configure them the way we want can depend on the type of licence we have. For example, we used to use a solution that involves Windows technology and built-in shadow copying that could be quite temperamental.
"We would need to assume that we had so many days’ worth of back-ups and have to allocate that storage on-prem.
“However, it doesn’t matter how much we back up with Redstor. There is no real loss of data space on-site because it is all managed in the cloud. There’s no need to worry about existing hardware that needs to run its software because Redstor is just a client that sits on the end server, so its footprint on-prem is very minor.
“That definitely has helped us make savings. For example, shadow copying would ultimately make back-up copies of file changes on a local server, and that would have an impact on storage, depending on how much data was changed and the length of time we wanted to keep that data. You don’t have any of those issues when you use Redstor.”
Redstor provides Umesh with the capability to scale easily to support the explosion in new apps and growing data sets.
He said: “With Redstor you have complete control of how and when your data is backed up. You just throw it at whatever you have. It is basically up to you what in your infrastructure you support.
“We have found Redstor very easy to work with. It has a very light client on the device it is sitting on and since we started using it three years ago, we have never had an issue. It’s just run and it’s delivered.”
Simmons Gainsford generates data that is typically of a sensitive nature and the firm needs to maintain security and ensure compliance with industry regulations.
Umesh said: “Redstor has all the necessary accreditations as well. We bank on their compliancy. That leaves us feeling comfortable that we are as safe as we can be.”
Trusted by defence, banking and health industries, Redstor uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with a 256-bit key length and is externally audited. Data is encrypted in transmission and at rest using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TSL).
Redstor cannot gain unauthorised access of Simmons Gainsford’s data, as only the firm possesses the encryption key.
Umesh said: “That’s very important and when I undertook the service, we were repeatedly warned about the importance of not forgetting the encryption key, which I thought was good.”
Simmons Gainsford has 24/7 access to a Redstor support team that draws on 20 years’ knowledge and experience within the storage and backup industry.
If Umesh’s IT team ever needs support, he has the reassurance that colleagues are speaking to an organisation that both sells and develops the technology. Redstor also feeds all input directly into software development and delivers monthly releases. That’s why the software is constantly improving in the way clients desire.
Simmons Gainsford first started using Redstor three years ago. Umesh said: “We looked at a few solutions, but Redstor was basically the leading option. Somebody gave my guys a quick overview on what we needed to do and how to do it. The pilot went well, there were no issues.”
With an all-in-one solution, Simmons Gainsford automatically get backup and recovery, archiving and DR for one price – all managed from a single console.
Intelligent, policy-driven automation and sophisticated reporting allow Umesh’s team to manage by exception and easily evidence compliance.
He said: “Onboarding was very good. There was no charge and no sort of obligation to commit. It was a very good experience. There was no pressure involved at all, but I would rather pay a bit more for that peace of mind. I can always fight for price and check out the specific IT, but what’s truly important is that I’m not facing obstacles if I’m under a lot of pressure.
“The relationship we have with Redstor is so much better than with larger companies, where you don’t have that personal touch or that care.”
Redstor is trusted by more than 40,000 customers around the world to help discover, analyse, control and protect their critical data.
Umesh said: “Redstor is a big plus for us. At no stage have I not been entirely happy with it or felt that there is a feature that I would like to have and need to go out and look at other alternatives.
“We are members of Accountants in IT, an organisation that holds annual conferences.
"I’ve given positive feedback about Redstor to a lot of people when we have session breakouts at AIT and at other times when accounting agencies gather."
What is your biggest challenge around backup and recovery?
- The threat of security incidents and how quickly you can recover
- Time spent on administrative tasks
- Cost of backup technology
- Limitations of legacy backup technology
- Gaining visibility of all your data