Arkeia Software

Customer Success: 3C Dialog

Infrastructure
  • Arkeia Network Backup
  • 11 Server Clients
  • Tandberg LTO Library
  • 1 Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape License
  • 5TB DiskStorage
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Microsoft SQL and Exchange Agents
Key Results
  • Fast and reliable restores
  • Support across both physical and virtual platforms
  • Simple administration

3cdialog-large

3C DIALOG protects its heterogeneous environment, spanning physical and virtual machines

Background

3C DIALOG began in Cologne, Germany in 1998 as Cologne: Call Center. The company was renamed 3C DIALOG in 2009. The company, a part of the result group, specializes in business-to-business customer contact management. Three hundred well-trained staff, working at 240 multimedia telephone workstations, ensure professional service for each of the approximately 4.5 million customer contacts made each year.

Challenge

A call center of the scale of 3C DIALOG generates every day a large amount of new or updated data. A loss of this data would have significant impact on the businesses of the customers of 3C DIALOG and thus also on the company's own success. A reliable backup is therefore essential, but surprisingly hard to deploy.

3C DIALOG’s previous backup solution, from a well-known manufacturer, proved to be very fragile when assigned to the task of protecting database servers in general, and Microsoft Exchange servers in particular. The manufacturer’s technical support was also unsatisfactory. 3C DIALOG developed the impression that neither the solution nor the software manufacturer was really focused on medium-sized companies like their own.

Information technology management decided that 3C DIALOG also needed a single backup solution that could protect both existing Windows servers and the Linux servers that were becoming progressively more important at the company. Holger Hermes, system administrator at 3C DIALOG, explains: "We needed a solution that could reliably protect heterogeneous system environments without unwarranted complexity. In addition, we wanted a solution suitable for medium-sized companies."

Solution

Arkeia’s solution came to the attention of 3C DIALOG as a result of published product reviews, and the company decided to benchmark Arkeia Network Backup against their existing solution.

"We set up Arkeia Network Backup, and the tests proceeded smoothly," said Hermes. "The strategy of the software is absolutely logical and simple. When we needed help, we enjoyed quick, informative responses from Arkeia’s technical support organization."

Because of the positive outcome of the evaluation, 3C DIALOG elected to replace their existing backup solution with Arkeia Network Backup. The Arkeia backup server was deployed on a Debian Linux platform and now protects 25 servers. Some of the servers belong to a sister company; some are also shared. 3C DIALOG installed Arkeia backup agents on the 10 most critical servers. Less critical systems first copy their data to these servers. To meet their aggressive backup window, 3C DIALOG has implemented a disk-to-disk-to-tape solution. With this solution the data to be backed up—about 200 GB per day for incremental backups—is first written to disk before being replicated to a tape library.

Benefits

While the central contact management software and some existing databases still run on the Windows operating system, only about two thirds of the installed servers have Windows installed. New database projects increasingly deploy MySQL under Linux.

"In terms of support for diverse platforms, Arkeia Network Backup clearly demonstrates its strength," concluded Hermes. "We have no problems protecting our heterogeneous environment and, if tomorrow we choose another platform, Arkeia will have a backup agent for that platform, as well."

Another benefit of the Arkeia solution became clear long after the initial deployment. “After learning the efficiency benefits of virtualization, we began to migrate many of our physical servers to a virtual infrastructure based on VMware. We couldn’t do this with all systems; for example, our PBX server requires a physical system. But even in this mixed environment of physical and virtual servers, the company can continue to use Arkeia Network Backup even without the need for new agents.”

Holger Hermes is very happy with his backup solution. "Arkeia provides all the functionality that you need, and is not as cluttered as some other backup solutions. It is very stable and is easily administered due to its web interface. Not only is setting up backup jobs easy; restores were also easy and just as reliable.” Hermes’ experience with Arkeia’s technical support was positive, “and not just in the testing phase. For the few problems we had, we could always count on quick and competent assistance from Arkeia’s technical support."

What are 3C DIALOG’s favorite features in Arkeia? While already managing a heterogeneous network, 3C DIALOG plans to further embrace virtualization. 3C DIALOG likes the fact that Arkeia’s backup server can be deployed not only as a conventional application, but also as a hardware appliance and a virtual appliance. In the form of a hardware appliance, the solution is available with or without integrated tape drive. The virtual appliance can be immediately started on a hypervisor. The Arkeia software functions the same for all three deployments so you can change the deployment of the backup server without needing to replace backup agents on client machines. Advanced capabilities, such as backup set Replication or Central Management Server, work with all three deployment options. The user interface is also the same.

What are 3C DIALOG’s plans with Arkeia? To upgrade to the latest version of Arkeia Network Backup in the next few months.