Handel Architects Saves 50% on Backup Costs with NAKIVO
Handel Architects is an architecture, interior design, and planning firm headquartered in New York City. Handel Architects is involved with projects across North America, South America, the Middle East, and Asia; with more than 150 architects, interior designers, planners, and support staff from offices in New York City, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Abu Dhabi. The firm has gained national and international recognition for work such as the Dream Downtown Hotel in New York City, the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City, the Pacific in San Francisco, and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington DC’s Georgetown neighborhood.
Handel Architects’ IT infrastructure is virtualized on VMware, and includes multiple VMware VMs that store file servers such as graphic 3D rendering files, various architectural and modelling systems, an accounting server, as well as domain controllers. The work that is produced by the architects and staff at Handel Architects is labor intensive in terms of the skill and difficulty levels; thus, if there is ever a mistake or an error in their work, the company requires the ability to capture and pull back that data, rather than having to recreate the data from scratch. Moreover, the company’s work is billed by the hour, in this way if a disaster occurs and their IT infrastructure becomes unavailable, the firm risks losing project work, and may lose the extra hours that would be required to recreate that work. For this reason, having a reliable VM backup system that can provide full VM backup and quick recovery is essential for the company.
In the past, Handel Architects protected their VMware environment with two products, one was for disaster recovery, and the other was for daily backups. The first product was extremely expensive and slow. The firm was replicating data from their main office to their secondary location; however, if anything were to have happened to their main office, the product would not have been able to transfer the data from the secondary location back to the main office in a timely manner (due to the graphic files being so large). The second product used for daily backups was being discontinued, thus the company decided to look for a software that would be able to provide them with both VM backup and replication in one product. “We wanted to leverage our existing hardware, as we already had an actual storage device - our Synology NAS. In addition, I wanted a product that was not too complicated, just something simple to use that did not need my constant management. Lastly, cost was of course an important factor as well,” says Paul Cheng, IT Manager, at Handel Architects.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a reliable VM backup solution that was designed specifically for virtualized environments, and provides both VM backup as well as VM replication functionality. Moreover, the product integrates seamlessly with multiple Synology NAS models, enabling customers to create a high-performance VM backup appliance. Lastly, not only does NAKIVO Backup & Replication provide performance and functionality, the solution also offers flexibility, as well of ease of access and management. “What I appreciate about NAKIVO Backup & Replication is that you can do almost everything on your own, including the installation, as well as all subsequent updates. In terms of integration with our Synology NAS box, we can now use the server not only for our data storage purposes, but also as a backup hardware,” says Paul.
With VM backup, Handel Architects can now protect their VMware VMs and file servers, as well as keep recovery points on a monthly and yearly basis. “We perform daily backup for our file servers, as well as weekly backup for our VMs. As we hold a huge amount of historical data, we also keep recovery points on a monthly and yearly basis. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, I feel more confident in the reliability of our VM backups in comparison to our previous product. That product did not offer us much visibility into the whole backup process, considering that we could not see the exact data being backed up when it came to our large servers. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication we now have more control over where and how our data is backed up,” explains Paul.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication’s web interface provides Paul with flexibility and ease-of-use. “I like how the web interface is designed because I can very easily schedule backup jobs, decide on particular backup repositories, and moreover, watch how and at what speed the backup job progresses. I am comfortable with the level of control and simplicity the solution gives me,” says Paul.
Increasing storage space was a small concern for Handel Architects, however, the issue was quickly eliminated when the company switched to NAKIVO Backup & Replication. NAKIVO Backup & Replication allowed the company to deduplicate and compress data, enabling it to fit within the storage that was specifically allocated. “With global data deduplication and compression, we are saving at least 30% on our storage space. I was really happy to see such storage space savings with the product,” says Paul.
In the near future, Paul hopes to take full advantage of the VM replication and instant VM recovery. With VM replication, NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides a way to replicate VMware VMs to a secondary location. Thus, if a disaster strikes, VM replicas can simply be powered on and running in a minimum amount of time. Instant VM recovery provides a near-instant way to recover full VMware VMs directly from compressed and deduplicated backups. “Once we have configured all of our servers correctly, we will have a look at the remaining functionality. I am very anxious to test instant file recovery,” says Paul.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication installed on a Synology NAS provides Handel Architects with reliable VM backup, ease of use and management, as well as storage space savings. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, the company can schedule backups on a daily/weekly basis, and keep recovery points on a monthly/yearly basis. With global data deduplication and compression, Handel Architects also attained storage space savings of 30%. Lastly, the product’s ease-of-use, achieved through the simple web interface, provides the much needed ease of access and management for Paul. “The previous product was a pain in terms of storage space allocation, while NAKIVO Backup & Replication takes care of the storage space automatically, so I do not have to do a thing in that regard. In terms of cost savings, we saved at least 50% of our money by switching to NAKIVO Backup & Replication. We not only saved money, but also achieved a new level of reliability and comfort when it comes to backing up our file servers and VMs,” says Paul.
About Handel Architects
Handel Architects was founded in 1994 with a commitment to making cities better places to live in. The company believes that architecture and design matter, and that through their work, Handel Architects can make a positive difference in the world. Handel Architects strive to create buildings that are not just things in themselves, but serve as catalysts for positive urban and social change. With over 180 architects and designers in New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Hong Kong, the firm’s work encompasses projects like the National September 11 Memorial, urban infrastructure and master planning projects, high density mixed use developments, multi-family projects across all income bands, corporate headquarters, and buildings for non-profit, institutional, and educational clients around the world. For more information, please visit www.handelarchitects.com.