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No data wastage for Pikitup

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Pikitup, the company charged with keeping the streets of Johannesburg free of rubbish may deal with waste by the mountain full. But says Pikitup CIO, GLYNIS LESLIE, it is by no means wasteful when dealing with its vital business data.

As the utility charged with keeping the streets clean in inner and outer Johannesburg, Pikitup may deal with waste on a substantial scale, but there is no way that the organisation is wasteful with its vital business data. Using Attix5 Pro, Pikitup’s Chief Information Officer, Glynis Leslie, has established a comprehensive data backup policy that ensures compliance with the King III code of corporate governance.

‚When I took the post of CIO in August 2010, I was concerned at the fact that our backup policy was too ad hoc and that we were exposed to substantial risk due to the unstructured backup policies,‚ says Leslie. ‚We required users to write files to the servers and in essence this was not a sufficiently robust solution.‚

Pikitup issued a tender for managed Internet Services and this was won by Internet Solutions (IS). ‚They looked at our operating environment and they recommended Attix5 Pro as a backup solution. At Pikitup, we have around 430 users and 8 servers that we need to back up and we needed a solution that ensures that we have control over the protection of the data for each of these users and servers, one that gives us control over what is happening at each data point,‚ says Leslie. ‚Our users are broadly distributed and some are highly mobile and we need to protect every bit of data within our organisation.‚

‚I needed to be confident of the backup solution that we were selecting as we had an incident about 3 years ago when we lost 70 workstations through a break-in and the loss of data was catastrophic. I made it my mission to ensure that this never happened again and in May this year, we commenced the deployment of Attix5, through IS. As with any business process change, we have experienced some challenges including getting access to- and configuring the solution on- user’s Workstations.‚ What is vital to Pikitup is that the backups occur without user intervention. ‚I like the fact that Attix5 Pro is largely a set-and-forget solution and that backups happen without the user even knowing that it is happening.‚

Backing up their business data into the cloud via IS, gives Pikitup dual redundancy as IS backs up their datacentre to other IS datacentres. This allows for optimum data protection in the event of any substantial disaster and ensures compliance with King III policies.

‚We are educating our users on the benefits of the solution and ensuring that they understand that the solution is there for their own benefit and protection. We use the Attix5 management console to monitor all backups at a granular level for all servers as well as for each and every desktop and laptop,‚ says Leslie. It is important to note that many of the Pikitup IT users back up from remote locations and sites removed from the Head Office. The Attix5 Management Console gives Pikitup a snapshot of the progress and status of all the backups, showing instantly which users have successfully backed up, but more importantly, which users and machines have not backed up, allowing for rapid remedial action to be taken.

It is said that the true value of backups is only really determined in the ability to restore the data when necessary. ‚One of our technicians recently had a hard drive crash on his workstation. All his data was backed up with Attix5 and we did a completely successful restore of his data and had him up and running in no time at all. We were extremely impressed with the ease and the accuracy of the restoration and we are confident in the way that Attix5 protects our data.‚

Pikitup frequently runs test on their servers to ensure their ability to restore their data. ‚We have portioned our backup servers and in all the restore tests that we have run, we have not experienced any failures whatsoever,‚ concludes Leslie.

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