Case Study: The William Schrikker Group

EVault Ensures 24/7 Availability for Critical Youth Protection Data

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The William Schrikker Group (WSG) supports disabled children across the Netherlands. To give its support staff round-the-clock access to client case histories, WSG now backs up its data to a pair of EVault® Plug-n-Protect appliances. It’s a fast and effective automated solution that cuts management and data-transfer times, saves money and storage space, and gives WSG the capability to recover from disasters within a few hours. With the support of EVault, WSG provides a faster and more reliable service to its clients.

A Knowledge Partner Needs Its Knowledge

WSG’s 25TB of raw data is growing dramatically. At the same time, government regulations require WSG to keep data for 15 years (although WSG works directly for the Dutch Ministry of Justice, it’s an independent organization). Because WSG provides support—at home or in foster care—for children who fall under the jurisdiction of the courts, and it runs a round-the-clock operation, there’s no room for delay or loss of data. That’s why WSG chose to replace its aging tape backup system.

Jaap Nieuwmeijer, WSG’s ICT Manager, describes WSG as a “knowledge partner.” It doesn’t just provide case workers; it offers vital background information

Searching for Reliability and Cost-Effectiveness

WSG knew exactly what it wanted from a backup system. Jaap and his team specified an RTO (recovery time objective) of four hours and a RPO (recovery point objective) of just one hour. They were on a tight budget, too.

WSG chose the 6TB Plug-n-Protect appliance from EVault for its effortless automation and industry-leading data compression. Because it compresses data by as much as 316:1, the Plug-n-Protect appliance swallows WSG’s 25TB of data with ease. Jaap thinks it’ll be another five years before WSG needs more storage space.

EVault excels in this environment. It runs in the background, transferring the minimum amount of data—just the changed data blocks—between storage device and backup appliance, and between duplicate backup appliances. At each stage EVault deduplicates the backup blocks to create a clean, up-to-date mirror of WSG’s live data.

Round-the-Clock Resilience

WSG’s EVault deployment has built-in resilience with a main and a co-location site. A second Plug-n-Protect appliance at the co-location site safeguards WSG’s data against site outages. The primary appliance uses EVault Software’s efficient technologies to replicate data to the secondary appliance. Replication incorporates front-end deduplication to speed transmission between the appliances, reducing the replication window. In addition, WSG’s replicated data is encrypted during transmission and in storage on both appliances.

For WSG, this means a complete set of backup data in two locations. And both are ready to be restored at a moment’s notice.

Frees More Time for Other Tasks

Despite all this sophistication, EVault requires little management time. The backups and deduplication run automatically, which is why Jaap’s IT team now spends roughly 65 percent less time on backups, tapes, and restores. There’s no registering, testing or labelling of tapes; if WSG needs to restore, EVault does it on the fly.

EVault Software performs data integrity checks to ensure backup data sets are always sound and available to be restored when needed. Because only changed backup data is sent to the appliance, EVault Software does not perform a typical incremental backup. It works instead to build a virtual “full” backup dynamically as each job arrives at the vault (appliance). That means that data is immediately available for recovery, with a simple, point-and-click, “single-pass restore” process.

Before going live with Plug-n-Protect, Jaap tested the system thoroughly. “We’re recovering our data much sooner with EVault,” he said. “When we restored the entire

EVault Delivers—Now and in the Future

Jaap and his team are now looking to the next stages of infrastructure development. One possible project is to replicate backup data to the EVault cloud. The redundant backup data in the cloud would give WSG an extra layer of disaster recovery capability.

EVault has given WSG exactly what it need in terms of resilience, time savings, and cost-effectiveness. WSG’s client data is secure, and Jaap can recover it on demand if WSG suffers a loss.

Would Jaap recommend his backup solution to other organizations? “Absolutely,” he said.