Remote Management Appliance Helps Creative Meeting Services Outsource Backup System Administration To IT Vendor

Creative Meeting Services (CMS), a Los Angeles-based corporate communication and production agency, recently lost several months worth of critical data, including extensive graphics and video materials that were central to its business.

"The impact was devastating," says Diana Zimmerman, president of CMS. "We are a major production company, with urgent deadlines, and couldn't afford to spend hours going back and trying to recreate everything. Having a reliable backup system is crucial to our business."

After an intense and extensive review of all available backup options, CMS decided to purchase Quantum/ATL's LANvault network backup appliance. A major selling feature of the appliance for CMS was its Web-based console with remote site access. "We don't have the luxury of a full-time onsite IT person. A remote site backup device allows us to have our outsourcing services vendor manage the system from the vendor's office," Zimmerman explains.

Remote site backup appliances are designed for companies that are experiencing explosive growth of remote data, and are therefore dependent upon mission critical data residing outside the control of the central information systems department. The amount of data at remote sites is typically doubling on an annual basis due to the proliferation of database, e-mail, and Web servers at remote sites (e.g., retail outlets, manufacturing plants, auto dealerships, bank branches).

Zimmerman feels strongly that many other small- to medium-sized businesses have a need for remote site-backup solutions. Key examples are companies that have a large need for visual storage, such as film companies and movie studios which may have editing facilities at one location and vast amounts of video stored at another site.

Another important benefit for such users is an appliance's ease of installation — going from "box to backup" in minutes — with a high-performance, DLT tape library integrated with a dedicated backup hardware and fully configured software server that simply plugs into Ethernet. "Our installation was as smooth as silk," adds Zimmerman. "It took longer to reboot the NT system that it did to install the appliance." Each backup appliance is preloaded with industry-standard backup software. CMS selected VERITAS' Backup Exec because of its ease-of-use, technology leadership, and vendor support.

Zimmerman notes there are several vendors of backup and recovery solutions for environments running Windows NT and Windows 2000. However, customers are always going to choose the solution that is easy-to-use and combines the most powerful feature set with the highest performance.