North Devon is home to 95,000 residents, beautiful beaches, and quaint towns. North Devon’s Council is tasked with meeting the district’s needs for refuse and recycling, environmental health, planning and development, parks, and electoral services.
The council’s information and communications technology (ICT) department supports more than 400 users who deliver these services—350 employees plus volunteers, temporary staff, external contractors, and dozens of parish councilors. Like all governmental organizations, the council must comply with data protection, backup, and disaster recovery requirements.
Disaster Recovery: Governments Are Leading the Way
A recent commentary from the Federal News Network noted that, while governments are usually seen as being behind the curve in adapting to new technologies, they are leading the way when it comes to disaster recovery. While some of this progress is driven by mandated compliance requirements, many local governments, like the North Devon Council, have been proactive in adding data protection and disaster recovery capabilities. For help with making sure it was meeting citizen expectations and in compliance, the council turned to its ICT department.
“Every council department and service relies on ICT—from responding to planning requests to scheduling park maintenance,” said Paul Shears, Senior Technical Analyst, ICT at North Devon Council. “We must have a DR plan in place to minimize the risk of disruption to services, especially those such as benefit payments that could impact the wellbeing of our citizens.”
Arcserve Solutions: Proven Data Protection
North Devon District Council was already very familiar with Arcserve solutions, having used them to successfully protect its data for more than 10 years. When it was time to update their backup solutions and add extra protection against ransomware attacks to support the district’s disaster recovery plan, the ICT department upgraded to two Arcserve 9000 Series Appliances and Arcserve Cloud Hybrid.
The two appliances protect about 100 council servers and 50TB of council data—including financial systems, application and file servers, databases, and Microsoft 365. “Microsoft 365 licensing was included in our Arcserve agreement, making it straightforward to ensure our user emails are protected,” said Shears. “As well as all email communication, the Arcserve solution protects planning systems, council tax applications, and the electoral register, and will eventually include SharePoint data.”
North Devon’s ICT department runs incremental backups every night, with data replicated between the two Arcserve appliances. Crucial data is also backed up to the Arcserve Cloud. The council uses the Arcserve appliances’ automatic testing capability to verify the recoverability of backups for audit requirements. The appliances also enable the ICT team to easily migrate between different hypervisors—from VMware to Hyper-V, for example.
Bonus Benefit: Sophos Ransomware Protection
The Arcserve 9000 Appliance Series is the first and only solution that neutralizes ransomware attacks, delivers effective disaster recovery (DR), and restores data that can be deployed in just 15 minutes. The appliances are integrated with Sophos Intercept X Advanced for Server for advanced endpoint protection.
Sophos combines signature-based and signatureless malware detection, deep learning neural network, anti-exploit technology, CryptoGuard anti-ransomware technology, WipeGuard technology, and more to stop the broadest range of endpoint threats. “The Arcserve appliances have Sophos Intercept X built-in, which provides a vital layer of protection against ransomware attacks and was a key differentiator in choosing the solution,” said Shears.
Disaster Recovery Results: Peace of Mind With Options
Depending on the type of disaster, North Devon District Council now has several recovery options. “If a server fails, we can recover a server within our usual VMware environment,” said Shears. “If the building burns down, we can run services direct from the Arcserve appliance. And in the event of a ransomware attack, we can roll back data to minimize the impact to staff productivity and citizen services.”
Having a single solution to protect both physical and virtual servers using the Arcserve appliances eliminated the need to maintain backup hardware. That meant the ICT team now spends less time managing backups and more time on strategic projects. The solution also ensures that the ICT team can meet user expectations, with capabilities that include fast, easy recovery of a file or email after Microsoft’s 60-day recovery availability expires.
The results? Simplified backup management, fast server recovery, and minimized disruptions to council services. “Arcserve gives us peace of mind to maintain business continuity even if the worst happens,” concluded Shears. “It also helps us work towards the council’s strategic goals of achieving financial security and delivering the best services to citizens.”
Learn More About Arcserve Disaster Recovery Solutions
Every organization is unique and has differing needs for backup and disaster recovery. Get expert help in choosing the right solution for your organization by finding an Arcserve technology partner. Or contact us for more details about Arcserve appliances and other data protection and disaster recovery solutions.
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