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Critical Data Protection Addressed at Shlemmer+Algaze+Associates

Aurora Enterprises and EqualLogic Chosen To Boost Architecture Firm’s Security

•  Wanted additional security measures to protect client data
•  Needed a system with capabilities beyond a traditional file server
•  Needed to improve their disaster recovery response

• Aurora Enterprises installed EqualLogic Technology

•  Easy to manage data storage consolidation
•  Backup and Restore with EqualLogic’s Snapshot functionality
•  Rapid disaster recovery

Shlemmer+Algaze+Associates (SAA) is one of the largest interiors and architecture firms in Southern California. The company provides both Corporate Design Services for corporations and individual business owners and Landlord Services for building owners and developers. SAA’s unique consulting and design process provides proactive guidance through the design and construction process.

The firm manages a variety of critical data about their customers’ buildings and offices, including floor plans, square footages, project construction drawings and building code reviews. “SAA came to us and said that they have to be certain that they don’t ever lose any of this data,” said Ed Mori, Director of Technology at Aurora Enterprises. “They can always recreate it, but that would take time and it’s critical that they are always able to provide this information back to their customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The traditional file server SAA used wasn’t meeting their needs. The company was running out of storage space. Business continuity was also an issue; if something happened to data at their offices in Los Angeles or Newport Beach, they had to be able to replicate that data off-site.

“One problem with the file server is that the traditional backup solution had a tape drive attached to it. If someone were to delete a file it could be very time consuming to recover, and it was hit and miss on the backup job going through correctly,” said Art Adams, IT Manager at Shlemmer+Algaze+Associates. “And with disaster recovery, if the tapes weren’t good then taking them off-site wouldn’t help. Recovering from that could take days.”

Aurora studied different scenarios and solutions, and suggested a solution from EqualLogic. “They’re a big player in this market, and we really liked what we saw,” said Ed Mori. “It’s a iSCSI solution, which is conceptually the same as more expensive fiber SAN technology, but over a traditional IP network, so the equipment is more reasonably priced. Also, EqualLogic offers a lot of software with their equipment, so SAA wouldn’t have to purchase modules or other software to do some of the things they needed to do, such as backup and business continuity.”

EqualLogic can be configured to a RAID 50, considerably faster and robust than the RAID 5 that SAA had on its file server. That provides protection against multiple drive failure, as well as a performance boost so SAA can access their data much faster. EqualLogic’s Snapshot technology provides hourly backups and replication to the other EqualLogic units. “The system is completely scalable, so as we continue to grow and require more storage, we don’t have to get rid of this system and get a new one,” Adams said.

System administration was very simple. “It’s a low maintenance appliance,” Adams said.  “We’ve had EqualLogic running for more than six months, with no issues whatsoever. We’ve since purchased another one for our Newport office, as well as another piece of technology that can replica

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