DFA Law Moves From Tape Backup to Asigra’s Agentless Online Backup and Recovery Solution


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IT Services Provider Smartways Helps Traditional Law Firm to Modernize and Lead the Way by Providing Services to Ensure Business Continuity

TORONTO – August 6, 2007 – Asigra Inc., the technology leader in agentless backup and recovery software for service providers targeting the growing managed storage services market, today announced that London-based DFA Law is using Asigra data backup and recovery software as a managed service from Smartways known as TouchPoint. DFA Law required a more reliable data protection to ensure business continuity in the event of data loss. Protecting information such as the practice management system and the case history database is critical for DFA Law, as they contain current and past case data, as well as billing information. In the event of data loss, DFA Law needs to be able to gain quick access to this information to successfully continue cases.

According to Colin Mitton, IT Manager of DFA Law, “Now that a lot more of our paper documents are scanned, our business increasingly relies on digital data. If we lose this information, it is effectively ‘case history’. Having complete daily versus weekly backups minimizes the amount of data loss and TouchPoint’s online and centralized backup means that we can retrieve all of the lost data from any location much more quickly than we could have done with the previous Veritas tape-based solution. Not only has Smartways saved us time by eliminating the manual element of the data backups and retrievals, it also provides us with additional IT support services, all included in a fixed monthly fee that is even less than the slower and less comprehensive service we had before.”

Asigra’s Televaulting software is provided to DFA Law by Smartways through its TouchPoint service. The combination of agentless software and disk-based backup across a WAN attacks both the “hard” and “soft” costs associated with conventional tape backup, including software license fees, media and drive maintenance, offsite storage, and the staffing required to perform tape-based backup.

At the DFA Law office, a TouchPoint Local Server (TPLS) – a dedicated backup appliance – runs the DS-Client that discovers all servers connected to the local network and automates the backup of all local data assets on a daily basis. DFA Law also uses the Constant Data Protection (CDP) element of TouchPoint to constantly protect their Microsoft Exchange 2003 server. Before the backup data set is transmitted to Smartways’ data center, the software analyzes the data, finds new and changed file blocks, eliminates duplicate files and further compresses the residue bytes to ensure the backup set is as compact as possible. The software then encrypts the data before sending it over an ADSL connection to the Smartways data center, where the TouchPoint N+1 servers are located. The data remains encrypted at-rest in the data center.

“We have been able to cut costs for DFA Law through the agentless architecture of the Asigra backup software, so that DFA Law only pays for the aggregate amount of compressed data across the network and there are no software license fees or hardware costs,” said Mike Rickards, managing director of Smartways. “This backup structure means that we can offer customers a flat monthly fee, which they prefer because there are no nasty surprises at the end of the month and it also saves us time in the billing process.”

Smartways also provides DFA Law with Asigra’s bare metal restore (BMR) feature, so that in the event of a systems breakdown, the tool allows administrators can quickly recover lost, damaged or corrupted data to any bare metal system – regardless of manufacturer – without having to manually reinstall the same operating system or to configure hardware prior to use.

“In addition to flexible billing structure, our backup configuration also makes data retrieval a simple task,” said Eran Farajun, executive vice president of Asigra. “There is no point in backing up data if you don’t know if you can restore all of the data within a target time period. For a time-sensitive firm like DFA Law, if an individual machine goes down, lost data can be restored locally very quickly from a local server. DFA Law can test this process simply by restoring data from the local server to another drive on a PC. If the whole system goes down, Smartways can restore the data from its data center and carry out a bare metal restore on new machines, enabling DFA Law to access its lost data as quickly as possible.”

Because the Asigra solution de-duplicates files in the backup process, DFA Law solicitors can have their data backed up as often as they wish and even have continuous data protection (CDP) if they require it. Since many lawyers can’t afford to lose even one day’s work, this capability is very attractive to DFA Law. The de-duplication feature means that unchanged files that are still on the system are transmitted and stored only once and they are not repeatedly transmitted and stored with each backup.

About DFA Law
Founded in 1838, DFA Law offers a wide range of business and private legal services, helping and advising individuals through to large national companies. Its teams of lawyers have wide ranging expertise in areas including commercial, employment, probate, property, litigation and family law. For more information, please visit www.dfalaw.co.uk.

About Smartways
Smartways is a leading supplier of ICT Systems and Managed ICT Services that help facilitate information exchange within and between the world’s leading companies and their customers.

Smartways’ mission is to become the preferred supplier of Online Backup and Data Recovery Services to the UK IT Reseller Channel by December 2007. The company was incorporated in the United Kingdom in February 1994 as a private limited company. For more information, please go to www.smartways.net or www.touchpointbackup.co.uk or call Smartways on +44 (0) 1604 670500.

About Asigra
Asigra is the award-winning leader in remote office/branch office (ROBO) online backup and recovery software for enterprises and managed backup service providers. The company’s flagship product, Televaulting, is used by global enterprises in the financial, insurance, legal, government, healthcare, and retail industries with more than four petabytes of data protected. Asigra technology is used by hundreds of service providers worldwide that offer managed backup services to companies ranging from small and medium businesses (SMBs) to Global 2000 enterprises. The agentless remote site backup and recovery solution provides simple, centralized management of the data protection process while eliminating the capital and operational expenses associated with agent-based solutions. Founded in 1986, Asigra is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with partner offices around the world. For more information, visit www.asigra.com.

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