endlessplace launches a seamless cloud backup service

Harnessing enterprise-class backup technologies from IBM and Front-safe

Published on 31-Oct-2012

"By continuing our close collaboration, we’re confident that we can help more and more customers reduce the cost and complexity of their backups with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager in the cloud." - Patrick Fitzgerald, Managing Director and CTO, endlessplace

Customer:
endlessplace

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
United Kingdom

Solution:
Business Resiliency, Cloud Computing, Cloud & Service Management, High Availability

IBM Business Partner:
Front-safe

Overview

In recent years, cloud-based backup and disaster recovery services have proven themselves to be a valuable proposition for large enterprises across the UK – offering IT departments the freedom to outsource time-consuming, repetitive tasks and refocus on core competencies.

Business need:
endlessplace wanted to offer cloud backup services to small and mid-sized businesses in the UK. To achieve this, the company needed a highly flexible, scalable and user-friendly storage management platform.

Solution:
The company installed IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager at its UK data centre, and partnered with Danish online backup provider and IBM Business Partner Front-safe.

Benefits:
Offers small and mid-sized businesses easy access to a world-class backup solution through a reseller channel. Enables simple management of costs, licences and billing. Deduplication technologies minimise storage requirements, reducing costs and offering better value to customers.

Case Study

In recent years, cloud-based backup and disaster recovery services have proven themselves to be a valuable proposition for large enterprises across the UK – offering IT departments the freedom to outsource time-consuming, repetitive tasks and refocus on core competencies.

Following the widespread acceptance of the cloud computing model by large businesses in the UK, endlessplace wanted to offer the benefits of the cloud backup model to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through a reseller channel.

Seeing a gap in the cloud

As Patrick Fitzgerald, Managing Director and CTO of endlessplace, explains: “By removing the need to manage, maintain and invest in underlying technologies, cloud computing enables companies to accomplish business goals for a significantly lower operational cost. We wanted to bring a cost-effective backup and recovery infrastructure-as-a-service [IaaS] platform to market especially for SMEs in the UK.

“To achieve our goal, we needed a highly flexible, scalable and user-friendly solution. As a young company, it was also important that we kept our operating costs lean, so we looked for software that would enable us to maximise the value of our data centre’s storage infrastructure.”

Strong collaboration

endlessplace selected IBM Tivoli Storage Manager software to form the basis of its cloud backup solution, using a web portal developed by IBM Business Partner Front-safe – an established cloud backup and archiving provider based in Denmark. Following the business-to-business model, endlessplace is developing a reseller channel to offer its white-labled services to its target market of UK SMEs.

“We made the decision to go with Tivoli Storage Manager based on our positive experience with the technology in the past,” says Patrick Fitzgerald. “Because of that experience, we had a high level of in-house competence with the software, and knew that it would meet our criteria of high availability, ease of use for customers and simple deployment.

“Likewise, we determined that Front-safe had the essential mix of experience, technical expertise and software platforms we required to successfully build a cloud backup solution in the UK. Like us, Front-safe is a specialist in IBM Tivoli Storage Manager – so we were confident that they keenly understood our business requirements.”

Working together with Front-safe, endlessplace configured the Front-safe web portal for use with its UK-based IBM Tivoli Storage Manager landscape. Today, the solution is hosted at endlessplace’s UK datacentre, and runs on high-performance IBM System x® 3650 M4 servers connected to an IBM System Storage® DS3512 Express array. To ensure the resiliency of its customer data, regular tape backups are performed using IBM System Storage TS3100 Tape Library Express systems.

Thomas Bak, Partner and Sales Director at Front-safe, comments: “Our web front-end functions almost like a customer relationship management system – customers can log in and manage their Tivoli backups, see their usage statistics, and keep track of monthly bills online.

“Over 150 of our managed service provider partners across Europe now use our web portal to facilitate user-friendly provision of IBM Tivoli backup services to more than 3,000 business customers. endlessplace is our first UK partner, and we were extremely impressed by their deep understanding of the UK market.”

World-class backup for SMEs

In partnership with IBM and Front-safe, endlessplace has created a cost-effective, enterprise-class backup solution for SMEs in the UK. The company is now developing its reseller channel, who will market the solution to end customers. “Today, we can provide our customers with a world-leading backup solution at an extremely attractive price-point,” says Patrick Fitzgerald.

“This cost-efficiency is enabled by advanced features of Tivoli Storage Manager such as deduplication, which offers up to 60 percent data reduction for some types of data. Combined with excellent real-time compression ratios, these technologies help us to get the greatest possible value out of our storage infrastructure, and mean that we can offer even more competitive prices to our customers.

“By combining the IBM Tivoli Express licencing model with the features of the Front-safe web portal, our customers get full visibility of their costs – they simply log in through a web browser, and get instant access to reports on their usage and upcoming bills.”

Cutting cost and complexity

By adopting the IaaS model, endlessplace is able to reduce the overall cost and apparent complexity of the backup process for its customers. “From the end customer’s perspective, there’s no technical knowledge required,” says Patrick Fitzgerald.

“Our experienced administration team performs all the necessary storage and software maintenance tasks on their behalf. The customer never has to worry about what’s going on behind the scenes – they can schedule all their backups through a simple, clean web interface, in a matter of minutes.”

Fitzgerald concludes: “Working with our experienced partner Front-safe, we have been able to achieve our goal of offering UK SMEs easy access to a world-class backup solution. We are currently in the process of implementing a second datacentre to function as a disaster recovery site – further enhancing the resiliency of our data.

“By continuing our close collaboration, we’re confident that we can help more and more customers reduce the cost and complexity of their backups with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager in the cloud.”

About endlessplace

To learn more about affordable cloud backup solutions and other services from endlessplace, please visit www.endlessplace.net

About Front-safe

Established in 2006 and based in Denmark, Front-safe delivers cloud backup and archiving solutions built on IBM Tivoli Storage Manager software. Through its network of over 150 trusted resellers, Front-safe enables thousands of SMEs across Europe to reduce the cost and complexity of their backup solutions – empowering each business to focus on what it does best.

To learn more about products, services and solutions from Front-safe, visit www.front-safe.com

For more information

To learn more about IBM Tivoli software, contact your IBM sales representative or visit ibm.com/software/tivoli

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Storage, Storage: TS3100 Tape Library, System x, System x: System x3650 M4

Software:
Tivoli Storage Manager

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012. IBM United Kingdom Limited, PO Box 41, North Harbour, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO6 3AU. Produced in the United Kingdom. October 2012. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, System Storage, System x and Tivoli are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks, or service marks of others. IBM and Front-safe are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Front-safe makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.