How Data Archiving is Used by Arvest Bank, Colt, Volition, PFG, and Boel Zanders Advocaten: Case Studies

Not all data needs to be accessed with the same frequency. This means a significant part of data management is knowing what data can be archived and how to do it properly.

Most organizations seek a lower tier, which is cheaper—and often slower—storage for data archiving. This may be more secure, but it also means access can be an issue. Even archived data should be searchable and efficient, but maintaining a balance between cost, security, and accessibility can be easier said than done. Let’s take a look at some data archiving case studies to explore how organizations are striking this balance. 

5 data archiving case studies

1. Boels Zanders Advocaten

Industry: Law

Product: Mimecast Cloud Archive 

Outcomes: 

  • Cut email recovery time down to seven seconds
  • Automatically archive emails into appropriate dossiers
  • Recover deleted records with searchable backed up archives

Boel Zanders Advocaten is a law firm with 140 employees and specializations in labor law, administrative law, family law, corporate law, and real estate law. They wanted to transition to cloud storage for their email system, moving from on-premises to Microsoft Office 365.

Mimecast archiving allowed them to strengthen their cloud environment to reduce the risk of loss and improve internal operations and client service. With Mimecast, they were able to integrate seamlessly with Outlook to automatically have emails archived to an ongoing dossier. Mimecast Cloud Archive makes it easy to search email histories and recover emails that are accidentally deleted.

“It is impressive how swiftly Mimecast’s search function works,” said System Administrator Robin Steeghs. “Even if you are looking for multiple email messages from six or seven years ago, Mimecast will rapidly find them. 

“I do not understand how this is possible, but I think it is great—and you get the data that you require.”

2. Arvest Bank

Industry: Banking

Product: Commvault Complete Data Protection with snapshot management technology and disk-based deduplication

Outcomes: 

  • Reduced data backup time from three days to three hours and increased backup schedule to seven days a week
  • Cut storage requirements by 90% with deduplication from 3.6 PB of data onto 571 TB worth of disk
  • Cost reduction of over $100,000 in disk cost alone

Arvest Bank originated in Arkansas and now expanded to serve 135 communities in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Recently, they decided to move away from tape backups, which was about 95% of their data storage previously.

“Tape is cheap, but it’s also expensive,” said Network Systems Engineer Chase Hale. “You got to think of man hours, you got to think of tapes going bad, you got to think of migrations. 

“It’s a headache. What Commvault allows us to do is easily and seamlessly move to a disk to disk solution, using DASH Copy as well to get from one data center to the other.”

DASH Copy is Commvault’s deduplicated data transfer solution, which allowed Arvest to cut down the time required to complete backups by 75% or more. Previously, it took multiple days to do a single complete backup, which made it difficult to meet evolving regulations in the banking industry and internal service license agreement (SLA) requirements to maintain two current copies of backups at all times. Now, backups are faster, more stable, and easier to manage. 

3. Colt Technology Services

Industry: Technology

Products: NetBackup, NetBackup Accelerator, NetBackup Auto Image Replication (AIR), NetBackup Self-Service Portal Services, Veritas Business Critical Services 

Outcomes: 

  • Two times faster support for new software versions
  • Up to 10 times faster backup speed
  • Greater control delivered by advanced self-service capabilities

The cloud provider Colt Technology Services wanted to enhance the backup and recovery capabilities available to its cloud service customers and resellers. They power their vCloud service with NetBackup because it protects VMware vClouds, copying both virtual machines (VMs) and the metadata that defines the data centers and allows them to communicate with virtual applications.

“NetBackup appliances are achieving 10:1 and higher deduplication ratios, and this is critical in enabling us to replicate any significant amount of data from a client site to backup vaults in our data center,” said Solution Line Manager Richard Morris. 

NetBackup’s Auto Image Replication feature allows Colt to make a new replication service available where customers can send copies of backed-up data to different data centers. This enhances recovery potential for customers and presents Colt with a new revenue opportunity.

4. Volition

Industry: Medical technology

Product: Proofpoint Email Archive

Outcomes: 

  • Meet compliance requirements for email archiving
  • Easily restore historical content with simple search and retrieval

Volition is an Austin-based medical technology company developing cost-effective blood tests for diagnosing cancer and other diseases. The company was concerned with their intellectual property and compliance, particularly with their email system. In order to be in compliance, they must be able to retrieve inbound and outbound emails from a secure archive.

Volition knows that there are many cybersecurity risks associated with email systems. Proofpoint Essentials Email Archive allows them to easily search backup files, unlike their previous system. They also previously struggled with having to restore mailboxes and folders just to retrieve something. With their new system, they are able to import email histories with fast, easy searches. They can also automatically preserve emails with their attachments in a secure archive, so they don’t have to worry about losses or hacks.

5. PFG

Industry: Financial Services

Product: Smarsh Professional Archive

Outcome: 

  • Reduce management burden of backups through automation and search and supervision workflows 
  • Find information in seconds with robust e-discovery capabilities 
  • Decrease compliance risks associated with email archiving

PFG is a financial services company with a team of over 150 financial planners, insurance experts, and CPAs, and Vicus Capital is its Federally Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) affiliate. The organization has only three compliance officers and sought an archiving and oversight solution for automated electronic communications retention.

The IT team manages more than 250 email accounts across 26 domains and was concerned about SEC and FINRA compliance. Smarsh provides the customer service they need in the event of an audit or issue, and the archival solution allows them to know that all emails are available and reliably archived directly from the source. E-discovery and supervision workflows enable them to decrease the time and effort of email review. 

Conclusions 

Data archiving can be a challenge, but these industry leaders are simplifying the process with their cost-effective storage offerings. Data archiving software should be searchable and optimized to ease the burden of access. And perhaps most importantly, it must be secure, so unused data is not sitting at risk.

Nahla Davies
Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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