Case Study: TBG Partners
Enterprise-class Performance and Effortless Recovery of Files
Industry: Architecture & Construction
Global File System: Nasuni
Key Applications: AutoCAD, Sketchup, 3D Studio Max
The landscape architecture and planning firm TBG Partners has been growing rapidly for the past several years, and with a steadily increasing work load, storage was becoming a problem. As a result, the IT department was struggling to maintain backup and restore lost files. Slow connectivity between offices made users wait for file access, hampering productivity. TBG turned to Nasuni Enterprise File Services and now enjoys built- in, automatic protection, improved collaboration between offices, unlimited scalability and enterprise-grade performance.
Rapid Expansion on a Limited IT Budget
In recent years, TBG Partners expanded into new offices, built out its global business, and experienced a rapid and consistent storage growth. The architects and designers on staff, who rely on workload-intensive programs such as AutoCAD, Sketchup, and 3D Studio Max, save every new iteration of a file. Total storage has ballooned to 20TB, and with individual file sizes as high as 3GB, each office continues to grow several GB per day. The IT staff is tasked not only with providing the designers fast access to their project data from multiple locations, but also ensuring that all data is securely protected. If a file is mistakenly deleted or overwritten, IT is tasked with recovering this lost data, often from tapes. “It could take days to restore a file and users got very frustrated,” says CTO Greg Nichols.
Moreover, the company’s expansion began to create other problems. Each office had its own unique storage infrastructure, with an Internet-based VPN connecting one branch to the next. The traffic between offices was so slow that collaboration was painfully inefficient. IT needed to find a new solution, but could not simply spend its way out of the situation. With a limited budget, the group has to study the ROI of every single solution. A backup system from a leading vendor did not deliver as promised – so TBG Partners turned to Nasuni.
“One of the biggest issues we faced going through this process of backup, recovery, and storage was the size of our files. It’s not uncommon to have a 3GB image file. Transferring that between offices would take a day with our Internet connection.”
Greg Nichols, Chief Technology Officer
Enterprise File Services at Cloud-Scale
TBG worked with Nasuni engineers to determine the right system for each office. In five of the offices, the firm installed Nasuni’s high-performance SSD edge appliances, which are designed specifically for the heavy workloads common to design-intensive firms. Smaller offices with less intense storage demands received virtual servers installed on local hardware. After IT migrated the data to Nasuni, Nichols was surprised at how quickly and easily the solution was implemented and how well it performs. He hasn’t received a single user complaint. In fact, Nichols says there has been a marked improvement in the speed of file access. Now the firm benefits from:
- Automatic Protection: Frequent, encrypted snapshots to the cloud deliver enterprise-grade protection and simple file restores
- Fast Recovery: Nasuni offers fast file restore and an unmatched RPO
- Unlimited Scalability: TBG can expand its cloud- backed storage volume indefinitely
- Capacity-based Pricing: Customers pay only for the storage they need; provisioning is on-demand
- Enterprise-grade Performance: Nasuni maintains fast file access speeds by keeping frequently used data cached on local edge appliances
- Improved Collaboration: Nasuni’s cloud-scale storage service means that TBG’s files exist as one data set, accessible from anywhere, including mobile devices
- Proactive Support: On the few occasions when something has gone wrong, Nasuni has alerted Nichols to the issue and suggested a fix, before it caused any problems
A High-Performance Solution with Automatic Protection
After testing an expensive and insufficient solution to its storage problems, the landscape architecture firm TBG Partners turned to Nasuni. Nasuni supports TBG’s growing and increasingly global business by creating a single, encrypted volume securely accessible from multiple locations.
Thanks to Nasuni’s high-performance local appliances, designers still enjoy enterprise-grade file access speeds and Nasuni’s capacity-based pricing model meets IT’s budget requirements. Now that backup and protection are simple and automatic, IT can focus on enhancing business productivity, not tracking down lost files.
“Backup and storage are so much easier now. I don’t have to think a lot about it, which is great. We plugged in these Nasuni devices and they back up literally everything, constantly and instantly, and that is such a wonderful thing coming from tape backups and old school restores.”
Greg Nichols, Chief Technology Officer