JWT Automates Branch Office Data Protection with Cloud Storage Gateways

  • Replaced tape backup with hybrid local and cloud backup
  • Automated and centralized data protection for branch data
  • Rapid file access and recovery
  • Enabled easy, secure local file sharing
  • Reduced TCO by 65%

Company Background

JWT, a key subsidiary of WPP Group, is a Fortune Global 500 company acknowledged as one of the world’s most successful ad agencies, employing nearly 10,000 employees. The company has more than 200 offices across the globe, each branch including up to 50 people with limited IT personnel presence on site.

The Challenge

Employees at JWT’s branch offices have been creating and sharing files among themselves, generating data at a rapidly increasing rate. Files were stored on file servers that were backed up using traditional tape drives and software. Once a month, tape cartridges would be transported to a storage facility in a different location using a specialized courier service, for disaster recovery purposes. The tape-based solution was becoming too cumbersome, unreliable and expensive with high risk of data loss.

JWT required a different approach that would allow easily protecting and accessing all business information anytime, anywhere. The solution had to combine local storage capabilities with centralized management, automated off-site backup, and the possibility to scale to additional locations and users, keeping pace with the company’s growth – all at a reasonable cost. Additionally, the solution needed to abide by the rules and regulations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), requiring that the whole IT infrastructure, from server and network security to IT practices and operations, be reinforced and configured to maintain and demonstrate continuous SOX IT compliance in the event of an audit.

The CTERA Solution

After rigorous testing, JWT selected CTERA’s Enterprise File Services Platform as the basis for a hybrid cloud storage solution that uses cloud storage gateway appliances in the branches, connected to the customer’s Amazon Web Services account. CTERA’s cloud storage gateways along with its software agents for servers, Windows and Mac OS-based workstations and laptops were installed at customer sites. The preconfigured appliances were easy to deploy on-site and immediately connected with the customer’s Amazon S3 cloud storage infrastructure.

Ad Agency Diagram

The CTERA-powered solution enables to protect and easily recover files without needing to back up entire volumes and deal with complex, time-consuming recovery. The hybrid solution performs dual backup – first to a local appliance and then to the cloud. This provides fast local recovery for common data loss incidents, while adding off-site disaster recovery capability in case of a local disaster. While branch servers are fully backed up, employees have the ability to choose specific files from their workstations they want to back up. Data backed up to Amazon is encrypted at the source with private keys, so that only the IT department has the ability to decrypt it.

CTERA’s solution for cloud backup enabled us to replace expensive tape backup while helping with SOX compliance and reducing TCO by 65%.

Antoine Boury, Head of Information Technology

CTERA’s appliances and software agents are fully managed and monitored using the CTERA Portal unified management console, with backup procedures standardized across all offices, real-time monitoring, and email notification of any backup failure or error. To ensure disaster recovery, critical data on the CTERA appliances is backed up daily to the AWS cloud.

The CTERA solution enabled JWT to replace cumbersome, expensive tape backup with an easy-to-use cloud-based solution allowing to store, protect, and access business information and systems anytime and anywhere. More importantly, it provided the customer with centralized management of branch storage and enforcement of data protection policies, while preserving the advantages of local storage contributing to customer’s business growth and continuity – all at 1/3rd the cost of the previous solution.

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