Improved data backup and recovery efficiency with zero storage cost

How a large industrial conglomerate in India eliminated an inefficient and manual data backup process and moved to a modern cloud-based backup solution without spending a penny on extra cloud storage.

Customer description

The customer is amongst the largest industrial groups in India with a broad spectrum of businesses ranging from cement, cables and jute goods – all the way to synthetic gum.

The challenge

When the customer approached Parablu, they were experiencing grave challenges meeting their endpoint data backup goals.

1. An inefficient manual data backup process 

The customer’s existing data backup strategy involved backups to externally connected storage devices on each endpoint.  These backups had to be manually triggered by employees from their business laptops and desktops. But, over a course of time, the IT team realized that they didn’t have a consistent record of backups from business endpoints.  The dependence on external drives and the manual nature of the process made it inherently unreliable – heightening possibilities of data losses due to accidental deletion, ransomware infections, data corruption, and device loss or theft. 

The business was also experiencing explosive growth in the volume of data and soon realized that the existing backup process may not scale to the required levels of data protection and availability. Overall, they realized it was time for the inefficient, labor-intensive, and non-scalable backup model to make way for a more modern backup strategy.

2. Unable to cost-effectively move data to the cloud

The customer knew that a cloud-based backup was the way to go.  It brought with it the benefits of reliability, geographical separation, and the elasticity of Operational Expenditure vs Capital Expenditure. 

They evaluated the possibility of using the Microsoft OneDrive tool as a backup. But in the process, they discovered OneDrive’s unfortunate shortcomings as a backup solution.  An excellent productivity tool for file sync and collaboration, OneDrive however wasn’t designed to be a backup.  It cannot not ensure the level of data coverage, data immutability, centralized management, and erect the type of ransomware defense that an enterprise-class solution could provide.

But moving to the cloud using an enterprise-grade backup solution wasn’t easy, because of the cost-prohibitive prices. Besides, they already had subscribed to Microsoft 365 and did not want the existing cloud investment on OneDrive for Business to go unutilized. 

3. Complex restore operations

IT administrators dealt daily with the complexity of recovery from external drives – stretching their already over-extended staff even further. Finding and recovering backed-up data in the event of any endpoint malfunction was proving more challenging each day.   

4. No visibility into backup status

There was also no centralized way to get a clear assessment of how many endpoints were protected and how many were exposed. Since all data backup operations were manual – there was no central log or reporting of user actions. The only way to discover any non-compliance in the backup was at the time a data recovery was attempted – too late in the process.

Solution

What the customer needed was a solution that would enable them to make use of their existing OneDrive storage, with no additional investment in hardware infrastructure, that would allow them to perform automated, secure, and centrally managed endpoint backups to the cloud.  In other words, a cost-effective, scalable, modern backup solution. A solution that would offer simplification of processes around data backup, security, and administration, and one that would integrate seamlessly with their existing IT infrastructure. 

After evaluating Parablu’s BluVault, the customer knew their search had ended.  Parablu was able to deliver high-performing, secure, and automated endpoint data backups to their existing OneDrive user storage allocations.

A cost-effective, scalable and modern backup that offered simplification of processes around data backup, security, and administration, that would integrate seamlessly with their existing IT infrastructure.

Why Parablu worked

1. Reliable automated backup

With BluVault, the IT team did not have to rely on employees to perform backups on to external drives.  BluVault’s automated and scheduled backup process ran like clockwork and ensured complete and timely backups from all registered devices. Through backup policies, administrators could specify schedules for specific groups of user devices and even configure multiple schedules a day if they so wished.

2. Utilize OneDrive storage as a backup target

With BluVault, the customer was able to utilize their OneDrive cloud storage as a backup destination. This meant no additional hardware investment, and with the generous allocation each OneDrive account provided, they also have the room to grow and scale.

3. Centralized Management

Parablu offered browser-based, centralized management for all data protection operations, across all registered users and devices through the Parablu web portal. They now had 100% visibility and access to all operations and actions from all registered business endpoints.  All available from a single pane of glass. This not only meant a considerable reduction in the number of personnel needed to manage backups, but also efficient and error-free operations.

4. Easy restores

The previously exhausting data recovery process was now quick and easy. Backup administrators could now use the web console to search for users or devices and restore entire devices or even perform granular level restores of selected files and folders – even down to a single file version. End-users could also be empowered with self-service capabilities to restore their data whenever they wished. 

5. Easy to implement and operate

BluVault’s secret is simplicity. The intuitive UI required minimal training – so anyone on the team could use it.  The central super-administrator could easily delegate limited administrative capabilities to administrators in satellite offices or departmental groups. This provided the IT team with easily manageable data protection operations across all their offices in no time. 

No additional hardware investment, and with the generous allocation each OneDrive account provided, they also had the room to grow and scale.

The benefits

1. Scalability for data growth

This business’ rapid growth in business data has now been complemented with a scalable backup solution. The flexibility and scalability also came equipped with the capability for efficient and centralized management designed to alleviate stress on their IT administrators as well as end-users.

 2. Higher control and visibility over the backup and restores

Precision settings enabled administrators to select which file types to back up and which ones to exclude. This ensured the right use of the available bandwidth and ensured optimal utilization of OneDrive storage space. End users and administrator also got the advantage of flexible restore options.  BluVault offers quick options to restore, download, or share files through a web console, and also lets users perform large and complex restores via the Parablu Agent installed on the endpoint.   

3. Significant cost saving in additional storage infrastructure

BluVault’s ability to leverage existing OneDrive user space could translate up to 70% in savings on overall TCO for them, versus any other backup solution – over the next 3-5 years. The unique integration with Microsoft 365 enabling utilization of already existing OneDrive storage was the most appealing feature of all; there was simply no other solution in the market that provided anything similar. This ability alone eliminated any new investments the business had to make for backup storage.

4. Data Protection with privacy setting

The backup data is stored in OneDrive is encrypted using industrial strength encryption algorithms, and BluVault allows the customer to keep control over the encryption keys. This approach, called Zero Knowledge Privacy assures unparalleled data privacy to businesses.

Also, for the protection of sensitive data belonging to high-value users, the customer uses the Privacy setting in BluVault that can optionally disallow administrators from viewing or restoring sensitive users’ data.

5. Notifications and alerts

With BluVault’s built-in reporting and alerting, the IT Administrators do not have to spend much time managing and keeping track of users and endpoint devices. They have simply set up alerts and notifications to be triggered for specific events like data deletion or policy changes. End users are also notified weekly of the status of their backups. While the central management console provides a bird’s eye-view of all activity and presents a variety of reports – administrators don’t need to visit it every day because they have the latest reports simply emailed to them on a daily basis. These provide important information each day to them on backup progress, devices not backing up, etc.

What customer says

“We never thought adopting a backup solution would be so easy and cost-effective. Our data backup process is now seamless, and we are always assured that all critical data on our business endpoints, no matter where they are, remain protected and safe. What’s more, we were able to do all of this with no new investment in data storage. Using OneDrive for all our backups was something that we’d always wished to do, but we’ve been able to realize OneDrive’s full potential only now, with Parablu.”

- IT Team Member, Large Industrial Conglomerate based out of India

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