True Alliance Slashes Backup Cost and Complexity

Fashion Retailer Deploys Cohesity and AWS for Flexible, Reliable Solution

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At a Glance

True Alliance is an omni-channel retail company operating across Australia and New Zealand. The combination of Cohesity and AWS now provides an infrastructure to support the company’s current activities, as well as scaling for future growth.

Challenges

The company had been relying on a Veritas Backup Exec infrastructure which stored data in three IBM tape libraries. This system had been in place for around five years and was proving increasingly difficult to manage and maintain.

Solution

After carefully evaluating a range of options, a decision was taken to deploy a Cohesity-based solution with data archival capacity provided by AWS Glacier.

Results

Associated costs have been reduced with Cohesity and AWS, and it is significantly less than what it was costing to manage tape libraries. True Alliance halved its monthly backup storage costs compared with the previous tape-based solution.

Overview

Established in 1982, True Alliance is an omni-channel retail company operating across Australia and New Zealand. The company has exclusive rights to market and sell a range of international clothing brands including Speedo, Ben Sherman, Lacoste, The North Face, and Lee Jeans through both retail and online stores.

Challenges

One of the byproducts of a growing business is the increasing volume of digital data that needs to be managed. At True Alliance, this data comprises everything from customer and sales records to high-quality digital images and video used in marketing campaigns.

True Alliance network engineer Aiden Ichsan says the company’s data stores had topped 45 terabytes, which was causing problems for its backup infrastructure.

“We had reached the stage where the weekend wasn’t long enough to complete a full backup of all our servers,” he says. “We were finding we had to do some backups during the week and even some during the working day which wasn’t ideal. This caused some network congestion issues and created some problems for other parts of the business.”

Ichsan says the company had been relying on a Veritas Backup Exec infrastructure which stored data in three IBM tape libraries. This system had been in place for around five years and was proving increasingly difficult to manage and maintain.

“By their very nature, tapes are not particularly efficient,” he says. “They have to be continually changed and carefully stored which was taking up a significant portion of the IT team’s time. It was becoming increasingly evident that a better backup infrastructure was required.”

True Alliance aimed for the following capabilities in a secondary data solution:

  • Reduce backup times to gain staff and operational efficiencies
  • Modern backup and recovery solution with simplified management
  • Reduced TCO and seamless integration to the cloud
  • Identify solution for future scalability to accommodate future data growth

Solution

After carefully evaluating a range of options, a decision was taken to deploy a Cohesity-based solution with data storage capacity provided by the AWS Glacier service. Following a successful proof of concept test, the new infrastructure was fully implemented.

During what ended up being a very rapid deployment, support was provided by technology partner Agiletech. The period between the Cohesity appliance being unboxed and the first backup undertaken was little more than two hours.

Ichsan says the native cloud integration capability offered by Cohesity made both the initial deployment and ongoing management very straightforward. It was simply a matter of selecting Amazon Glacier as an external target and the Cohesity appliance began the backup process.

With Cohesity, you can have one appliance that just does it all for you and that has removed much of the complexity that we were battling against in our environment. When you add the flexibility and reliability of Amazon Glacier, the solution becomes even more compelling.”

– Aiden Ichsan, Network Engineer

Results

With the Cohesity and AWS infrastructure fully operational, the True Alliance IT team saw immediate benefits.

“Backups tend to be a massive time sink and our Cohesity solution has dramatically cut the amount of staff time needed to manage our backup processes,” says Ichsan. “Where it used to take 10 hours a week to maintain backups, now it takes virtually no time at all.”

He says the IT team has also managed to increase overall backup retention. As there is no longer a reliance on physical tapes, it’s possible to simply increase the storage capacity being used in the Amazon cloud. This capacity can quickly and easily continue to grow as needs evolve over time.

“Associated costs have also been reduced as the money we pay for storage in Amazon Glacier is significantly less than what it was costing us to manage our tape libraries. We have halved our monthly backup storage costs compared with the previous tape-based solution.”

Ichsan says a further benefit comes from the ability to undertake backups more regularly. Previously these were completed once a week, whereas now data is backed up every four hours. This ensures all files are consistently protected and ready to be restored if required.

“For us, backup has changed from being a massive pain to something that just happens in the background,” he says. “Thanks to the combination of Cohesity and AWS, we now have in place an infrastructure that can support our current activity and grow with us in the future.”

True Alliance realized many benefits with Cohesity including:

  • Seamless integration to the cloud, including Amazon Glacier
  • Reduced cost for maintenance and operational savings
  • Ability to meet SLAs and perform regular, reliable backups
  • Backup time reduced from 10 hours to nearly no time at all

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