European Tour Tees-off with Barracuda Networks

Gets Back on Course with Robust, Scalable, and Reliable Backup and Recovery

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Overview

The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional sport, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship, and integrity, while showcasing diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour’s innovative approach embraces the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, since 2009, has incorporated the Race to Dubai, and is a thriving global brand that will feature a minimum of 48 tournaments spread across five continents in 2015. The European Challenge Tour focuses on up and coming players, while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday.

Graham Gifford, IT Director for the European Tour, heads a small IT team that supports some of Europe’s most well-known and loved golf tournaments. With 2-3 events staged each week throughout the year, network downtime is not an option, and there is no time to implement complex data recovery processes. Gifford was under pressure to maintain critical applications and data from the organisation’s Exchange, VMware, and SQL servers. His existing tape-based backup and recovery architecture was proving to be a massive burden: prone to human error, difficult to monitor, and hard to scale in line with the organisation’s needs. It was time to look for a modern and more intuitive alternative. Gifford and his team were confronted with other problems as well, since the recovery of deleted files was a time-consuming and difficult process that required a large part of their resources and interfered with their other critical work supporting the organisation’s high-profile tournaments.

Profile

  • International Sporting Body
  • Headquartered at the Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water, Surrey
  • Mobile IT network that travels to each golf tournament
  • 150 IT system users and 45 servers

Challenges

  • Find a robust and scalable alternative to tape-based backup and recovery
  • Back up and recover a mix of physical and virtual environments
  • Implement fast and reliable offsite or local backup
  • Cut time spent by IT department on recovering deleted files
  • Proactively monitor network and backup infrastructure to ensure reliable recovery

Solution

  • Barracuda Backup 990

Results

  • A simplified approach to backup and recovery using an all-in-one solution from a single vendor
  • Easy to deploy - no network downtime or unreliable agents
  • Reduced potential for human error
  • Rapid local or cloud-based recovery that supports U.S. “travelling” IT infrastructure
  • Network users can recover their own deleted files (subject to correct admin permissions)
  • Highly scalable without hidden costs
  • Manageable from a single screen

Barracuda Makes the Cut

Gifford considered several competitor solutions, but selected the Barracuda Backup 990 after a successful one-month trial. He explains, “We were already big Barracuda fans and had been using the Barracuda Web Filter, Barracuda Spam Firewall, and Barracuda Message Archiver for a few years. We knew they were intuitive, reliable and scalable - all the things we were looking for in a backup and recovery solution, and all the things we didn’t have with our existing product. In addition, the Barracuda Backup 990 came with a wealth of features and functionalities which other vendors couldn’t offer as an inclusive package. This made Barracuda an obvious choice.”

Right from the start, the Barracuda Backup 990 was easy to work with. Gifford recalls that the installation process was simple and straightforward, and that, unlike many other backup and recovery solutions on the market, there was no need to reboot the network when the agents were added to the servers. He remarks, “When we installed our previous backup and recovery solution, we needed to take all our servers offline and reboot them several times before we got the system working. Even then we were never 100% sure that it was backing up everything we wanted it to.”

Teeing Up the Network

Although the previous tape-based solution could provide the offsite backup and recovery required by the organisation, it came at a high price. Recovery was difficult, clumsy, and unreliable. In addition, seemingly basic problems such as tape jams or incorrect tape maintenance caused big problems for Gifford and his team. Also, changes to the network architecture and software updates to the servers would send the backup infrastructure into meltdown. By contrast, the Barracuda Backup 990 can restore or deliver either from an appliance on site or remotely from the cloud and has sufficient inbuilt intelligence to accommodate any physical or software changes to the network that it protects. Gifford comments, “The Barracuda Backup 990 automates many of the routine tasks that are both time consuming and prone to human error. It copes effortlessly with the many small daily changes that take place with a network such as ours. This has removed a lot of stress from our lives and made the day-to-day running of the IT department a much calmer affair.”

Help Yourself...

In addition, the Barracuda Backup 990 can deal seamlessly with backup and recovery to physical and virtual environments, and allows Gifford and his team to apply unified policy management for replication, scheduling, and retention across the entire network. “And the best thing of all,” Gifford explains, “is that the entire back up and recovery process can be monitored and controlled from a single screen. This gives us fantastic insight into network performance and a high level of confidence that everything is running as it should be. Any problems are proactively highlighted, and we can deal with them before they cause any issues for the organisation.”

"It’s so intuitive that everyone at the organisation can recover their own lost or deleted files with minimal assistance."
- Graham Gifford, IT Director, European Tour

The Barracuda Backup 990 has also cut the time that Gifford and his team spend on helping colleagues recover their lost or accidentally deleted files. “It’s so intuitive,” he states, “that everyone at the organisation can recover their own lost or deleted files with minimal assistance from us. Contrast that with the days where we had to go rummaging through the tape archive and try to identify which particular file they were looking for, and you can see why we’re so overjoyed at this particular feature!” Permissions are easy to set and allow everyone at the European Golf Tour to access their own files in the archive and recover them as necessary - as easily as if they were looking through a junk folder in their email or a the recycle bin on their computer.

Conclusion

“The level of granularity and flexibility offered by Barracuda’s solution means we can back up and recover the way that we want to, rather than the way that an IT vendor is telling us to,” concludes Gifford. “This makes the Barracuda Backup 990 a solution for the real world, capable of dealing with real-world IT problems. For example, we haven’t seen another offer that gives you a cloud-based backup option as standard - and allows you to pick and choose the data you put in there with such a degree of flexibility.”

But perhaps the biggest benefit for Gifford and his team is the most simple and understated. “It just works,” he raves. “Don’t underestimate how rare that is in a piece of IT keep period. The fact that it can work, unfazed, in the background day in and day out, doing exactly what Barracuda promised us it would do, is amazing and fantastic. It saves us between 60 and 90 minutes each day, and it makes me a very happy guy.”

Perhaps that’s why the European Tour is now testing Barracuda’s next-generation firewalls and load balancing solutions. With a portfolio of successfully running products already in place, it makes sense that Gifford and his team would want to see what else Barracuda can help to improve.

About Barracuda

Protecting users, applications, and data for more than 150,000 organizations worldwide, Barracuda Networks has developed a global reputation as the go-to leader for powerful, easy-to-use, affordable IT solutions. The company’s proven customercentric business model focuses on delivering high-value, subscriptionbased IT solutions for security and storage. For additional information, please visit barracuda.com or follow us on Twitter@barracuda.

About the Barracuda Backup

Barracuda delivers easy cloud-connected Backup. Barracuda Backup is the unified, cost-efficient data protection solution for your physical and virtual environments. Backup software, local storage, and remote storage are integrated into a solution that can be rapidly deployed in under an hour. Cloud-based central management enables seamless multisite administration, and rapid local or remote recovery prevents data loss, and also minimizes downtime. Barracuda Backup is a complete backup solution with remote storage that is easy to buy, install, and manage, all backed by our live 24/7 customer support experts.

Barracuda Backup Fast Facts

  • Secures physical and virtual environments (VMware & Hyper-V)
  • LiveBoot for VMware
  • Deduplicated storage and fast replication
  • Microsoft SQL, Exchange, Restore at the News Level
  • VMware Snapshot and File Recovery
  • Cloud Storage and/or Siteto-Site-Replication