Go-to storage and disaster recovery products

Enterprise storage, backup and disaster recovery products win over IT pros.

Drew Como credits his enterprise backup and recovery technology of choice – Veeam Availability Suite -- with helping his company to recover from a disastrous third-party software upgrade.

“Once, we had a software vendor who assured us that an upgrade would be quick and easy, so we went ahead with it. In fact, it destroyed a key database,” says Como, who is senior manager of global datacenter platform services at Take-Two Interactive Software. “Everyone panicked, but I said, ‘Hey, I think Veeam’s got this.’ I crossed my fingers, did a restore, and in 15 minutes the entire database was back online.”

Take-Two is a developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment for consumers – and in the gaming world, availability is paramount. “If at any time the system is down, game development teams get behind, and in this industry, time is the biggest issue,” Como says. “I’ve used a lot of solutions in 20 years for backup and recovery, and nothing has been as fast or efficient as Veeam Availability Suite.”

Como is one of 29 IT pros who wrote in to share their favorite products. Among the entries, a number of submitters singled out technologies that help their companies tackle data storage and protection, file access, and disaster recovery.

Carlton Whitmore, IT manager at Disability Rights Texas, raved about DataCore’s SANsymphony-V. “It’s a feature-rich, hardware-agnostic SAN running on Windows. I can use any backend hardware that works for me. I can also attach the storage directly to my Hyper-V hosts,” Whitmore says. “We’ve saved thousands of dollars using SANsymphony-V. We wouldn’t have been able to virtualize our environment without it.”

Colby-Sawyer College also relies on DataCore’s storage virtualization software. “[It] meets our replication needs -- replicates all critical data between two data centers. Also provides rich SAN capability. Allows us to endure the failure of one data center with no loss of storage availability,” says David Blaisdell, assistant IT director at the New London, NH, college.

Peloton used to rely on multiple services for backup, file sync and file sharing, but today the professional services firm relies on one affordable tool for accessing, managing and protecting user files: Intermedia SecuriSync backup and secure file sharing.

“Data is at the core of what we do, and we are constantly recording and analyzing data to improve our performance and streamline collaborative projects,” says Charles Hausmann, vice president of specialized services at Peloton. “We rely on SecuriSync as a two-in-one tool for consolidated file management and continuous backup of our documents, including secure access and protection of our corporate data.”

As a collaboration tool, “SecuriSync gives us instant access to relevant project documents in a shared folder, securely,” Hausmann says.

“SecuriSync also goes beyond read-only access – our workers can easily review and edit documents from their mobile devices without having to be concerned with version control. Having this ability greatly expedites the development of the extensive documentation we produce for our clients, especially with real-time backups to manage version control and restore files should they become corrupted,” he says. “Now we can work with changing teams and increase productivity, all while keeping our files and projects secure.”

Shawn Umansky, network engineer at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, depends on Nasuni cloud storage to handle the school’s extreme data growth. “Our file data has grown exponentially over the past few years, and managing data growth is not our primary job. Our real job is to support employees, faculty and students with the services they need,” Umansky says.

“Before Nasuni, planning for our storage needs was really difficult. We had trouble supporting highly data-intensive projects that required additional storage capacity, because it was so expensive to scale up. Now, it just takes minutes to add capacity, and that’s the way the whole platform works,” Umansky says. “It’s so easy to manage, and we can back up all of our file data during the day as often as we like, with the ability to instantly recover everything.”

“I can’t tell you how awesome it is not to have to worry about storage so I can focus on serving faculty, staff and students,” Umansky says.

CloudBerry Managed Backup made an impression on Steve Putnam, senior cloud services architect and engineer at The PC Wizard. The Torrington, Conn.-based MSP resells CloudBerry Lab’s managed backup service to its customers. “Our clients are primarily small- to mid-sized businesses, and with this service, the benefits of cloud-based backup – including scalability, reliability and security – are within their reach,” Putnam says.

Putman cites a number of benefits of CloudBerry’s service, including: the option to choose storage providers; remote management capabilities; and client-side encryption controls. “The result is a flexible, cost-effective solution that makes end-customers feel confident that their data is safe,” Putnam says. “Since offering CloudBerry Lab Managed Backup, we have reduced the cost of backing up our customers by 40% and significantly improved the success rate of backups.”

For more IT pro favorites, check out the entire Fave Raves collection.

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