Re-Boot: old construction firm gets modern makeover

21 April 2020

Henry Boot’s presence in the construction sector dates back to 1886, making it one of the most established firms in the business.

Over the last few years, its IT set-up went from primarily focusing on support back-office tasks to becoming the platform for the company’s entire operations.

That’s a tall order for a group that employs around 500 people and is split into six primary businesses.

As such, Henry Boot became reliant on having access to highly available IT systems, along with the ability to rapidly restore data and operations after an incident.

However, the company didn’t move with the times.

Its slow and dated technology infrastructure meant any outage could have crippled its operations.

It gets worse.

Data backups were taking up to 20 hours to complete and the solutions required high levels of maintenance.

The 133-year-old business had to get modern…and fast.

In came Arcserve, a provider of data protection, replication and recovery solutions for enterprise and mid-market businesses.

During an initial trial period, Henry Boot deployed a 16 terabyte 8300 Arcserve Appliance to each of its two head offices, protecting 145 terabytes of raw data.

This was deduplicated at a rate of 81% down to just 28 terabytes and replicated between key sites to provide additional protection.

A successful trial saw the supplementary purchase of two 80 terabyte 8400 Arcserve Appliances to facilitate the protection of additional workloads including Office 365.

Three to four incremental backups are now taken throughout the day, while a full overnight backup takes just two hours instead of 20.

Furthermore, Arcserve’s instant VM feature provides access to critical servers in less than five minutes from recovery points housed on the appliance datastore. “With two Arcserve appliances on different sites, we can ensure continuity if any systems go down. In fact, the recent additional purchases enabled an appliance for our London office to ensure that our disaster recovery plan is completely failsafe,” explained Daniel Dracup, Henry Boot’s IT project systems manager.

Henry Boot’s IT team can now take a more strategic, long-term approach to data management.

For example, the company now has different tiers of server according to business criticality and new requirements such as GDPR compliance can now be more easily addressed.