US Media Company Rapidly Achieves Data Protection Goals with CTERA

  • Hybrid local/cloud backup and storage replacing expensive, outdated backup system
  • Centrally managed and monitored across 15 sites
  • Reduced on-site IT visits

Company Background

21st Century Media (formerly The Journal Register) delivers local news and information to 992 communities in 10 US states, reaching an audience of 21 million Americans each month. Its 350 multi-platform delivery products include websites, mobile, video, and print.

The Challenge

As 21st Century Media was expanding its reach across the northeastern United States, it added employees, opened offices, and purchased computers and storage resources to support new operations. Offices varied in size from regional centers (10-100 servers), to local hubs (5-20 servers), to specialized locations (1-3 servers). Technology was deployed with a decentralized approach, meaning that servers and storage varied in age, size and type, and that backup methods ranged from basic to robust, each executed with different degrees of diligence.

The variety of appliances and simple license model made it easy to work with CTERA. We followed their best practices and had over 15 offices deployed and remote monitoring in place within 6 months

Fernando Ballerino, IT Director Infrastructure, 21st Century Media

In 2011, concerned that the decentralized backup approach was inefficient and difficult to monitor, 21st Century Media conducted a search for a new storage and data protection solution. “We needed a new storage solution that could be easily deployed to local offices with limited in-house IT support in some cases, and could be managed centrally to regain backup control,” says Fernando Ballerino, IT Director, Journal Register Company. “Most importantly we needed to secure our data in every office and protect against device failures and disasters.”

The CTERA Solution

Fernando Ballerino and his team identified CTERA’s hybrid cloud storage solution as a replacement for inefficient tape backup at small and mid-sized offices. “The first unit we tested was very easy to install and simple to manage remotely,” says Ballerino. “With this success, we began deploying CTERA to our small offices.”

As the deployment expanded into mid-sized offices, 21st Century Media selected CTERA C200 and C400 appliances for different-sized locations. “The variety of appliances and simple license model made it easy to work with CTERA. We followed their best practices and had over 15 offices deployed and remote monitoring in place within months,” says Ballerino. As an added benefit, local appliances can also be used as production file servers and for ‘bare metal’ server recovery.

With appliances now protecting data on local servers, Ballerino built a private storage cloud in the Yardley, PA regional center to replicate local office data, using CTERA Portal with over 20 terabytes of storage. With CTERA Portal’s administrative console, data can now easily be restored from any office or the Yardley-based private cloud with minimal efforts. 21st Century Media experienced very little impact on wide area network performance thanks to CTERA’s efficient use of bandwidth and de-duplication technologies.

“With limited resources, we achieved our data protection goals quickly and cost-efficiently, without any major issues. We are very happy with our relationship with CTERA and the solution they delivered.”

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