Arkeia Software

Customer Success: Pictime

Infrastructure
  • Arkeia Network Backup
  • 100+ Server Clients
  • Tape Automation
  • Data Deduplication
  • Remote Storage Option
Key Results
  • Scalable solution for concurrent backup of large numbers of servers
  • Much faster data restores than alternative solutions
  • Concise reporting of backup progress and status
  • Simple administration via the web or automated scripts
  • Centralized management of multiple servers

Pictime Data Center Logo


Hosting Provider Pictime Datacenter Chooses WD Arkeia™ to Standardize the Backup and Restoration of Hundreds of Merchant Web Sites

Background

Pictime, a leading French provider of e-commerce services, develops and operates e-commerce web sites for a wide variety of retail and wholesale distribution customers.  Pictime Datacenter, the hosting provider division of Pictime, delivers hosting solutions for the management of high-availability applications.  After using Arkeia Network Backup successfully for internal operations for several years, Pictime decided to offer backup services using Arkeia to its hosted customers.

Challenge

Pictime Datacenter maintains three large datacenters, each containing hundreds of physical servers and virtual machines.  While historically Pictime focused on the Microsoft Windows platform, over the past ten years Pictime has diversified with the introduction of machines running Linux and AIX.  In 2007, the company decided to try to upgrade its backup technology to enhance reliability and to simplify updates and administration.  Pictime Datacenter needed a backup solution that would allow the company to backup a very heterogeneous environment, to centralize backup management, and to provide full and fast data restoration.

Solution

After using Arkeia Network Backup successfully for internal backups at Pictime, the company decided to add backup services to expand its service offerings. The hosting provider now uses a solution which is easy to deploy and for which backups and restores of client data have proven to be much more reliable than any of the previously-used backup solutions.  Arkeia Network Backup agents on Windows, Linux, and AIX work seamlessly with a single backup server.  The central administration server and the Arkeia web user interface allow Pictime to centrally manage customer backups with minimal personnel intervention.  The flexibility of the Arkeia solution also made possible the integration of existing monitoring tools deployed earlier by Pictime.

"Our solutions for Disaster Recovery are based on Arkeia Network Backup. Arkeia’s Disaster Recovery features let us guarantee reliable recovery within the period of four hours stipulated in our service level agreements, "said Fabien Dachicourt technical director at Pictime Datacenter.

Pictime Datacenter regularly updates its Arkeia installations to enjoy the expanded features made available in each new version of Arkeia Network Backup.  "The new versions [of ANB] that we deploy regularly satisfy the most frequently expressed needs of our customers, companies coming from the distribution or e-commerce sector," continued Fabien Dachicourt.

With powerful tools for pre-configured and custom reporting, Arkeia provides detailed backup statuses both during and after the completion of backups.  The reports may be displayed on Pictime’s integrated administration dashboard, viewed via Arkeia’s web user interface, distributed by e-mail, or exported into a third-party reporting application.

Benefits

Pictime Datacenter has relied on Arkeia Network Backup for over five years.  Arkeia has been able to assist Pictime in the ongoing efforts to continuously improve the performance of their information system and expand their range of value added services.  Thanks to its multi-flow and bandwidth management technologies, Arkeia has allowed Pictime to steadily scale the number of machines to be backed up.  Indeed, the Arkeia solution provides an optimized price performance ratio with its centralized backup server that can manage many hundreds of backup agents across a wide variety of operating systems, applications, databases, and VMware virtual environments.

"We wanted to customize our reporting for each of our customers.  Since version 8.1 we have developed graphical reports for each client that verify backup completion or report exceptions.  If there are errors or alarms, they are clearly highlighted," noted Dachicourt.  Every day a team of 8 engineers reviews the reports generated by Arkeia to monitor a dozen Arkeia backup servers, some of which backup hundreds of client servers.

Arkeia’s new user-initiated restore capability allows users to identify and restore their own files from backups. This innovative feature could be available to the customers of Pictime datacenter as soon as the access rights will be assigned.  "Delivery of user-initiated restores is in discussion with some of our customers who frequently need changed files to be restored.  They would both gain flexibility and save time," concludes Dachicourt.

Administrative simplicity also sets Arkeia apart.  The backup server is easy to configure.  For example, the declaration of the full machine names to the host files is made directly at the backup server which automatically handles the time-consuming task.

"We save a lot of time when it comes to backup administration. This is a significant improvement for operations team and it also represents cost savings for our customers," explains Dachicourt.  “The installation of a backup agent takes only 15 minutes as you simply configure a given machine and point it at the shared backup server.  We can deploy the Arkeia solution twice as fast as any of the previously-used backup products, and backups and restores have proven to be much more reliable.  If needed, we can easily access technical support and enjoy a quick response,” said Dachicourt.  “Arkeia listens to our development suggestions and works with us, making it simple for us to build a successful backup business using Arkeia Network Backup.”