Case Study: StorageCraft and Connecticut Computer Service

Case Study: StorageCraft and Connecticut Computer Service

September 23

Thirty years ago, the managed services provider (MSP) business model didn’t exist. So in 1983, when Connecticut Computer Service (CTCOMP) started offering IT infrastructure solutions to small and medium-sized businesses in Connecticut and western Massachusetts, they used the traditional solution provider model.

Over the years, CTCOMP adopted more of a hybrid model: consulting with the IT staff of larger customers, and providing complete data-center-to-endpoint support for smaller customers. About eight years ago, CTCOMP began supporting both cloud and on-premise solutions.

As more of their customers moved to cloud-based technologies, CTCOMP started transitioning to a new MSP business model—and, transitioning away from their old backup and disaster recovery solution.

“It became obvious that we needed a different disaster recovery platform,” says Tom Riggio, vice president of sales at CTCOMP. The tape-based solution CTCOMP had been selling for the past 15 years didn’t fit their new, multi-tiered MSP model.

A Better Solution Than Tape

Their tape backup vendor simply couldn’t provide the backup, replication, and rapid recovery that CTCOMP now needed.

“We wanted to change a massive part of our backup and disaster recovery business to a more collaborative approach, with more service levels for customers to choose from,” Riggio says. “So we needed to find a better solution than tape.”

A few months ago, CTCOMP learned about StorageCraft from Synnex, a distribution partner. They realized that the StorageCraft MSP Partner Program would allow CTCOMP to offer a wider range of services to their customers, both large and small.

“We’d been looking for a platform for data backup to disk, but couldn’t find one manufacturer to provide us with a complete range of solutions until we found StorageCraft,” says Riggio.

Tom Mucha, senior systems engineer at CTCOMP, installed StorageCraft ShadowProtect in the lab and started training the CTCOMP technical staff. It ran perfectly on their HP hardware, so John Dietle, CTCOMP executive vice president, was eager to try ShadowProtect on a new customer.

“This particular customer didn’t have any backup software in place,” Dietle says.

The client knew their IT systems were getting older, and the company was looking for a support provider. The business relied on huge CAD drawings and accounting applications.

“You need a backup solution or we can’t support you,” Dietle told them. The customer agreed.

In mid-June 2013, Mucha installed ShadowProtect on the customer’s Dell servers. “It was our first live customer installation of ShadowProtect outside of a lab situation, so we didn’t know what to expect,” he says.

Just three days later, the new customer called CTCOMP. One of their 10-year-old servers had died.

Hoping it was a system board that could quickly be replaced, Mucha discovered that two out of three hard drives had failed. It seemed that all of the customer’s data was gone.

“We used ShadowProtect to restore their files to the NAS, and they were able to work on their critical files while they waited for new server hardware,” Mucha says. “Even with all the giant CAD drawings, we were able to restore their data in less than two hours. It would’ve been an eight-hour process with tape, and they would’ve lost a whole business day.”

Instead of losing a new account, CTCOMP won a customer for life. “Thank God for StorageCraft, because it could’ve been a nightmare,” Dietle says. “They were happy to be up and running, and very grateful to get their data back. But we were a lot more grateful than they were.”

Because this customer had an on-premise backup, it was a like-to-like (Dell-to-Dell) restore. But Dietle wondered what would happen in a like-to-unlike or virtual-to-physical restore scenario.

“We were fairly nervous, being so young with StorageCraft ourselves,” he says. “So when we got back, we took their Dell server backup and restored it to an HP server at our location. Again, it took only two hours. We had so much success with that test, we took it to VMware as well.”

ShadowProtect Was Wildly Successful

The unexpected live customer test, and their own lab tests afterward, convinced CTCOMP they’d found the right disaster recovery platform.

Mucha and Dietle had allotted a full day to test the two restore scenarios in the CTCOMP lab. They finished both tests in only half a day, and ShadowProtect sealed the deal for CTCOMP. Tape restores couldn’t compete.

“The restores from a different physical box, as well as a virtual box, really sold StorageCraft to me from that point on,” says Dietle. “The restores were so fast! We weren’t expecting to have to rely on it so soon after our first live install, but ShadowProtect was wildly successful.”

In addition to fast and reliable technology, StorageCraft gives CTCOMP a more flexible range of backup and disaster recovery services and an affordable, phased approach to offer their customers.

“In the past, some customers didn’t adopt our advice on backup and disaster recovery because of the expense,” Dietle explains. “Now StorageCraft lets us gradually work those customers into a more secure strategy. First we back up to disk, and when they can afford to, we replicate their data offsite. Then, when they can afford true availability, they can come to our data center.”

With a 30-year history of successful IT solutions, CTCOMP is proud of being picky with technology vendors. “We stand behind premium products, so we choose our partners carefully,” Dietle says. “We prefer to have fewer partners but more premium offerings. Going forward, our primary backup and disaster recovery partner will be StorageCraft.”

About Connecticut Computer Service

Founded in 1983, Connecticut Computer Service (CTCOMP) has been providing IT solutions to area businesses for 30 years. As Connecticut’s only combination Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Hewlett Packard Elite Partner with Authorized Service Center, Cisco Premier Partner, and Citrix Silver Solution Provider, CTCOMP provides comprehensive service and support.

With headquarters in Plantsville, and data centers in both Southington and East Hartford, CTCOMP offers services ranging from backup and disaster recovery, data replication, and data center virtualization to network design, data security, desktop deployment, and hardware repair.

CTCOMP solutions are custom-developed based on the current and future needs of each customer. Account executives help customers define goals, develop strategies and implement the most efficient solutions. Their philosophy is, “Using technology solutions as a means to increase the success of a business over the long-term.”