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Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc. (Milhouse)

Company:

Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc. (Milhouse) is a professional full-service engineering and architecture firm. In addition to offering expertise in civil, mechanical, electrical and structural engineering, Milhouse also provides construction and program management services. Based in Chicago, the firm has several offices throughout the United States and employs 180 people. It is also affiliated with a few other companies.

Challenge:

Every business is exposed to a number of risks, ranging from severe weather conditions to cyber attacks. If a business can’t continue, it can’t generate income. That’s why business continuity plans are so important. They can save companies from financial ruin. Before Milhouse created a business continuity plan, the firm had to resolve one challenge: offsite backup and recovery were inconsistent and unreliable.

Results:

  • Masters the 3-2-1 rule with cloud backup
  • Avoids the risk of catastrophic data loss
  • Prevents $500,000 in lost revenue per week

About OffsiteDataSync:

OffsiteDataSync is a global provider of cloud services including Infrastructure as a Service, Disaster Recovery as a Service and cloud-based backup. The company has data centers in several locations including Nevada, New York and Singapore. OffsiteDataSync has been recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Disaster Recovery Solution Providers by CIOReview magazine and ranked as a Top 100 Global Cloud Service Provider by Penton Media since 2013.

The Business Challenge

Business Continuity (BC) planning is more than smart business. It’s the key to surviving a disaster. Unfortunately, many companies don’t take a proactive approach to BC planning.

According to a survey from Travelers, a business insurance provider, 48 percent of businesses in the United States don’t have BC plans. The Institute for Business and Home Safety cites an even more startling statistic: 25 percent of U.S. businesses do not reopen following a major disaster.

Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc. took a proactive approach to BC planning. After the IT team replaced legacy backup with Veeam® Backup Essentials™, which became the backbone of the firm’s disaster recovery (DR) plan, the Executive team focused on creating a BC plan. For Milhouse, BC means delivering engineering, architecture, and construction management services to clients despite a disaster, with minimum business disruption.

“We’re fortunate to have tech-savvy executives who recognize that IT plays a major role in BC,” said Amar Singh, Director of IT at Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc. “They asked us what challenges remained in our DR plan, and we explained that onsite backup and recovery were solid, but offsite backup and recovery were not.”

Veeam was taking care of onsite backup and recovery. Daily backup was reliable and recovery was fast. No problem there. The challenge was getting backup copies off site. They were being backed up to an USB hard drive and transported to an offsite repository by car each week. If the hard drive was lost en route, a week’s worth of data would be lost as well.

“We’re a service-based firm; whereas we can’t deliver services to clients if our data isn’t available,” Amar Singh explained. “If we lost a week’s worth of data, the firm could lose up to $500,000 in revenue per week.”

The IT team advised the Executive team the best way to ensure data availability from offsite backups was cloud backup.

Milhouse already had a conduit to the cloud—Veeam Cloud Connect—a feature in Veeam that transfers backups off site to a hosted cloud repository through a secure sockets layer (SSL) connection. The challenge was finding a reliable cloud provider with expertise in recovery.

The Veeam Solution

Milhouse chose OffsiteDataSync, an award-winning cloud provider that customizes backup and DR solutions for companies of all sizes.

“Veeam and OffsiteDataSync provide consistent, reliable offsite backup and recovery, making our data available 24.7.365,” Amar Singh said. “Our business continuity plan depends on 24.7.365 Availability.”

Veeam and OffsiteDataSync help Milhouse avoid data loss, which helps prevent revenue loss. Replacing weekly offsite backup via the USB hard drive with daily Veeam backup to OffsiteDataSync enables the firm to protect approximately $500,000 in probable revenue per week. That’s how much Milhouse might have forfeited if a week’s worth of data was lost.

“Small businesses don’t always think through the worst-case scenario,” Amar Singh said. “Losing a week’s worth of data can damage a company. Backing up to OffsiteDataSync with Veeam gives us the ability to restore critical systems in a worst-case scenario, keep the business going and preserve $500,000 in revenue.”

Veeam and OffsiteDataSync also enable Milhouse to follow the 3-2-1 backup rule recommended for DR (3 copies of data stored on 2 types of media, with 1 copy offsite).

“All we had to do to master the 3-2-1 rule was point our backups to OffsiteDataSync— it was that easy—plug and play,” Amar Singh said. “We have complete visibility and control of our backups, and we can access and recover data directly from the backup console, whether the data is in our data center or the cloud.”

Milhouse spent minutes using Instant VM Recovery® to restore a business-critical file server containing engineering models, drawings, Microsoft Word documents and Excel spreadsheets for an onsite backup. Without Veeam, Amar said recovery would have taken a week, leaving employees without access to their work.

Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange helps Milhouse restore emails fast. Amar Singh said he’ll appreciate Veeam Explorer even more when the firm transitions to Microsoft Office 365.

“One of our objectives during the transition is keeping backup and recovery consistent. We’ll use Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 to back up Exchange, and we’ll use Veeam Explorer to recover emails. It’s comforting to know Veeam and OffsiteDataSync will keep our data safe and available during and after the transition.”

OffsiteDataSync was one of the first cloud providers to embrace Veeam Cloud Connect and join the Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) program. OffsiteDataSync was also one of the first providers to become a platinum partner.

“Our backup and recovery services are powered by Veeam because we understand the significance of 24.7.365 Availability—we’ve been a Veeam customer for years,” said Matthew Chesterton, Chief Executive Officer at OffsiteDataSync. “Together with Veeam, we help companies rethink their DR strategies for business continuity. Whenever they need help, we’re there.”

Amar Singh said a benefit of working with Veeam and OffsiteDataSync is the exceptional customer support offered by both companies.

“From the time I spoke with Matt at a Veeam Lunch & Learn to understand the benefits of offsite backup copies, I knew OffsiteDataSync was the best fit for Milhouse,” Amar Singh said. “When I found out OffsiteDataSync was a Veeam platinum partner, I was even more convinced. Vendor support sometimes goes by the wayside, but not with Veeam and OffsiteDataSync. Their support teams are awesome. They help us resolve issues, and they follow up to see if the issues remain resolved.”

The Results

  • Masters the 3-2-1 rule with cloud backup
    By using Veeam to back up on site and transfer backup copies to OffsiteDataSync’s secure private cloud, Milhouse mastered the 3-2-1 backup rule recommended for DR.
  • Avoids the risk of catastrophic data loss
    Veeam sends backups to OffsiteDataSync through a secure SSL connection. Milhouse can recover directly from the cloud, which provides near-continuous data protection to help avoid data loss.
  • Prevents $500,000 in lost revenue per week
    By avoiding the risk of data loss, Milhouse avoids risk to revenue loss. Losing a week’s worth of data, which was a real possibility before Milhouse began backing up to OffsiteDataSync, could have been quite costly.
Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc. (Milhouse)
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