National Marketing and Printing Company Streamlines Backup, DR and Compliance With Unitrends and IT Complete
It actually works. When you push a button, you get a response. I monitor my backups on a daily basis, and I’ll tell you, this is one solution where I’m not afraid it will fail. I would recommend Unitrends without hesitation. Yusuf Gunel
Network Systems Engineer, 1-Vision
Unitrends Solution for 1-Vision
- Windows virtualized servers
- VMware virtual servers
- SQL databases
Unitrends Backup Virtual Appliance(s)
- Full protection for heterogeneous environment (file-, image-, host-, database-level backups)
- Instant recovery of virtual environment
- Disaster recovery
- Automated gap and vulnerability assessments (Network Detective, Compliance Manager)
- Comprehensive, centralized reporting (compliance documentation, SOPs, policies and procedures)
Since their inception in 1952, 1-Vision has evolved through a series of strategic mergers and acquisitions to refine and streamline industry-leading expertise and efficiency with data-driven solutions, online marketing portals, state-of-the-art print production, warehouse and fulfillment services.
Hootan Tabari, CTO, joined 1-Vision during the acquisition of his prior organization. Tabari enjoys the challenge of building IT systems that grow with 1-Vision’s success, since the company’s series of acquisitions requires technology operations to scale rapidly and efficiently.
Managing locations across the United States, from Denver to Las Vegas, Houston to Jackson (MS), has presented Tabari with a rewarding challenge.
“One of the things I’ve loved about working at 1-Vision is building a full system where all the pieces and parts talk to each other and communicate in a highly automated fashion.”
Tabari continues, “It’s been a lot of fun determining what programs and pieces we bring in to make that happen. We manage around 210 endpoints across the country at our various locations and average around 80 hybrid users — roughly 25 folks are connecting in regularly with an SSL VPN to work remotely, and that number goes up when folks are traveling, or else need to work remotely.”
Following the acquisition, Tabari and his Network Systems Engineer, Yusuf Gunel, went through the process of evaluating the mix of technologies they inherited; that’s when they discovered Unitrends.
“Unitrends was at 1-Vision before we got here,” recalls Tabari. “Before the acquisition, we were running a much smaller company. Our backup strategy was a series of daisy chained NAS devices that were backing each other up.”
As the companies came together, Tabari and his team not only had to scale operations rapidly, but they were also under new compliance regulations, including HIPAA, that must be accounted for.
“When it comes to backing up to an external drive or disk, without any capabilities beyond Copy-Paste, it’s not a true recovery solution,” explains Gunel, reflecting on their prior solution. “While initially we inherited Unitrends, it’s definitely been more effective [than our previous backup system].”
“Unitrends has great software that we run in our virtualized environment alongside our storage,” says Gunel. “We still store data on the NAS, but now there’s the software behind it that gives us capabilities like deduplication, encryption and replication to the other NAS devices. There are so many capabilities we’ve been able to implement with Unitrends.”
“We’re backing up around 30 to 35TBs. I’ve loved Unitrends’ [built-in] deduplication.”
Gunel continues, “I’m often scaling my storage because our data is growing constantly. Your deduplication has been very helpful in keeping identical data off of that storage.”
1-Vision’s infrastructure is run primarily on-premises from their core site in Denver, CO. Satellite locations are connected via a mesh network in a hub-and spoke topology, enabling all employees to access critical systems. To keep operations running smoothly, the 1-Vision team relies on a combination of third-party and homegrown software.
“We use a lot of EFI-supported applications,” explains Tabari. “Monarch, PrintStream and ProcessShipper are hosted locally. We use VMware to push them to all our locations, so each employee is working in the same instance. We use different storefront applications throughout our locations that are tied into Printstream to auto-create orders; our PrintFlow application manages schedules throughout the shops. All of that data is backed up with Unitrends.”
Unitrends has enabled the team with a variety of methods for protecting their data.
“We’re backing up our systems with different approaches,” says Gunel. “We take backups at the file, image and database levels to ensure our business-critical applications are fully protected while also having fast recovery options.”
Vital to these systems is their SQL backbone. “The SQL recovery is really nice with Unitrends,” recalls Tabari. “The ability to restore a database directly from your appliance — we’ve had to use that before and it’s come in quite handy. We lost a database during a migration. Fortunately, due to the migration window, we didn’t have any data that wasn’t backed up, and we were able to easily restore the database, got it up and running and we were good to go.”
With mission-critical operations hosted out of a single location, Tabari and his team understand the importance of having an off-site backup copy readily available for disaster recovery.
“We run Unitrends at two locations,” explains Gunel. “We use one for off-site backups, so we’ve got our onsite appliance that synchronizes with the off-site target, enabling hot backups, and providing us with that redundancy.”
After learning more about IT Complete, Kaseya’s architecture of integrated solutions that enables IT to manage more complex IT service deliveries efficiently, 1-Vision saw an opportunity to take advantage of the flexibility, versatility and unification of the platform by deploying the Kaseya Virtual Systems Administrator (VSA) and RapidFire Tool’s Network Detective and Compliance Manager GRC.
“With the acquisitions we’ve gone through, we now have a lot of compliance standards to account for”, explains Gunel. “We’re constantly iterating, running gap assessments and evaluating to ensure those policies are met.”
“Kaseya’s software deployment has been ideal for me.”
Gunel says, “I’ve been making a lot of changes in our environment and for most of them I’m utilizing the VSA agents, and it’s been very helpful so far. We’ve also made use of the Network Detective and HIPAA compliance modules to run assessments and gain insight into our environment, understand the gaps, vulnerabilities and what needs to be changed.”
Gunel continues, “The reports are really comprehensive. I share them with our executives and compliance officers. They’ve enabled me to keep all my policies and procedures in one place. Network Detective helped us to gather intelligence from each solution we are using and tells us what needs to be done and what may need to change in order to be compliant.”
The 1-Vision team has utilized Unitrends, Kaseya and RapidFire Tool’s solutions to streamline and automate processes to keep pace with the ever-changing and growing environment.
“Unitrends helps us meet compliance requirements as our disaster recovery solution We have to have a continuity plan in place. Unitrends is our DR solution — our plans, DR policies, recovery plans and SOPs — they are all built around Unitrends.”
“Your tools have helped us tremendously in meeting our compliance needs and fulfilling those various requirements,” says Gunel. “I run them regularly to make sure that we are compliant and stay in compliance.”