National IT director finds answer to remote office backup challenges
“I don’t wake up at night worrying about data loss anymore because I know that if something bad happens, MozyPro has us covered.”
Eight different backup solutions were being used by 30 employees across the United States for the National Cooperative Grocers Association. Since finding MozyPro online backup, new IT director Chris von Rabenau enjoys peace of mind in knowing that employees within the company’s disparate organization can restore important files anywhere at any time from one central location.
One hundred ten health food co-ops in 32 states receive group purchasing and marketing services from the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) in Iowa. National sales topped $920 million in 2006, and the company continues to grow at an impressive rate.
Meticulous records of all financial reports, email archives, and photo galleries documenting store expansion must be safeguarded to ensure the stability of the company. But with eight different backup solutions being used by 30 employees both in local and remote offices, NCGA’s new IT director, Chris von Rabenau, had his work cut out for him.
“There were so many different forms of backup being used within the organization that I didn’t know from one user to the next whose backup was current and where it was stored,” von Rabenau said. “As the IT director, it makes my job really difficult when I can’t monitor backups for individual users and know that our business-critical data is safe.”
The task was literally a nightmare for von Rabenau, who awoke at night on several occasions worrying about someone whose hard drive had crashed. Restoring data for employees proved equally as difficult, since von Rabenau had to access the machine, backup discs, and software to put everything back together again. The widely-distributed company was often forced to outsource the restore for remote users at up to $500 per incident as von Rabenau couldn’t always be onsite.
Everyone in the company travels, and it seems problems often arise at the most inopportune times. In fact, just before von Rabenau was hired, one company employee sat down to give his presentation at a national meeting when he realized his hard drive had crashed while traveling. His backup was days old and the key document he had just spent 20 hours preparing was not backed up anywhere.
“He had most of the information in email form, but the file he had been working on had pooled together all the information from various suppliers. He lost it all,” von Rabenau said. “His backup had been failing, and no one knew because it hadn’t been tested.”
The employee gave the presentation, relying solely on his memory and a few email attachments at hand. It took two weeks to restore his hard drive, further interrupted his work flow, and put him behind in almost every project he had been working on.
“My role is to make sure that never happens again,” von Rabenau said. “We’re such a disparate organization and we have to have parity on our machines so I can keep track of our backups. I finally realized that was possible when I read about Mozy in PC World.”
After speaking with MozyPro representatives, von Rabenau did a test drive, and began rolling it out across his entire organization. MozyPro places a user-friendly client interface on each employee’s computer where backups are controlled and monitored via a web-based Admin Console. The easy- to-use software has dramatically reduced the amount of time von Rabenau spends regulating backups since it is designed for the IT professional and non-tech-savvy user alike.
Von Rabenau keeps tabs on company backups through the Admin Console, which shows him the company’s backup history so he knows when to work with employees if their backups are not functioning correctly. It also lets him increase storage, run custom backup reports, and test restores to ensure the account is in good health.
“I’ve needed to restore data several times, and MozyPro walked me through everything,” he said. “It asked me what I wanted to restore and where I wanted to put it, and then it took care of the rest for me. I don’t wake up at night worrying about data loss anymore because I know that if something bad happens, MozyPro has us covered.”
Ideal for a business in which people are constantly traveling, MozyPro offers near continuous data protection and allows users to restore data directly on their computer or to another computer over the Internet or by DVD sent overnight via FedEx. If anyone ever experiences a hard drive failure right before a major presentation again, MozyPro can restore important files within a few minutes. “We’re dealing with business data here. We cannot afford to lose the files on our machines, or we’d have to redo the work or go without it,” von Rabenau said. “We just can’t jeopardize that. MozyPro gives us the confidence to forget about backup and get back to work.”