In history, the three islands that now comprise the Republic of Malta, positioned just south of Sicily in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, played a strategic role in influencing development of the one of the world’s most important waterways.
Today, the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) plays an equally important and strategic role in positioning Malta as a thriving digital nation. Though its 122 square miles makes Malta one of the smallest countries in the world, the republic stands tall as a leader in data-enabled services to its 437,000 citizens.
Charged with helping drive the growth of Malta’s economy through reliable delivery of information services to its ministries, MITA considers data availability an essential element of its policies and procedures.
“Though we serve the 15 ministries of government, MITA has one customer—Malta,” explained Robert Galea, Head of MITA’s Infrastructure Services. “Email systems, Internet hosting services, the wide-area network, data centre management and application development are just some of the many services we support.”
MITA’s mission is to ensure that government systems run effectively, reliably and economically so that the citizens of Malta receive government services in the most expeditious and efficient manner. Services in vital areas such as health care, national security, tourism, finance and energy management are important economic drivers.
However, service delivery can suffer when system failures make data unavailable. Galea and his team set out to improve data backup of the 100 TB of data that comprise the information and services utilized by ministries throughout the government.
Galea says that data availability is an organisation’s most important asset. “An IT failure would be a huge problem that would negatively impact our ministries’ productivity and service delivery to citizens.” Important service areas such as government’s health care provision and national hospital, Inland Revenue Services, Pension Services, and other critical services to the government and citizens would suffer during times of data interruption.
“Our tape-based backup process was slow,” added Roderick Stoner, MITA Enterprise Architect. “We kept seven days of backup to disc and then weekly and monthly to tape. When we needed data to be restored, the process was awkward and cumbersome. You had to find the tapes, ship them, locate the data, perform checks for accuracy and so forth. It simply took too much time.”
Veeam® Backup & Replication™ became the solution of choice. Stoner said what was once a slow, methodical and mechanical backup process has been cut by 75 percent.
“One of Veeam’s most compelling features is ease of use,” he said. “Out of the box, it works. And on the few occasions when we needed assistance, Veeam technical support was there to help us. Our IT personnel now have time for more missioncritical projects, such as applications development, that improve service to our ministries and ultimately to citizens.”
As backup time was slashed from 24 hours to 6 hours, MITA recognizes the positive impact Veeam has made in service efficiency and time savings, which results in significant cost savings and improved service quality.
“Veeam provides peace of mind,” Galea said. “We started using Veeam in 2010, and we are extremely happy with the choice we made. Moreover, Veeam Software continues to improve the solution and continually adds many new features. As our digital needs grow, Veeam has the capabilities and scalability to grow with us.”
Galea said that always-on data also addresses the global issue of data security and reliability.
“Through Veeam, we can take advantage of the security and reliability its backup capabilities provide. In today’s world, data security is a vital component that contributes to peace of mind.”
MITA is a government agency that develops and drives the Republic of Malta’s ICT policy, programmes and initiatives. MITA provides the ICT infrastructure and solutions that enable public-service delivery and sets the course for the country’s digital strategy.
ICT has the power to improve a country’s economy and society. Malta recognised this fact early on and set out to transform itself into a digitally enabled nation. Called Digital Malta, the strategy reaps the benefits that ICT brings: better education, stronger businesses, efficient government and sustainable economic growth. Digital Malta is powered by data, so for Digital Malta to be a success, data must be always available. More than 30,000 users in the 15 ministries of Malta’s government depend on MITA to provide always-on data to keep the wheels of government turning and service delivery at an optimum level.