“DocAve is much simpler to use than native SQL Server backups – enabling our other database administrators and developers to manage our SharePoint backups with ease when I am away.”
- Srinivas Maddimsetty, Database Administrator, Christian Aid
Christian Aid is a Christian organisation that provides urgent, practical, and effective assistance where need is great, tackling the effects of poverty as well as its root causes.
Working in nearly 50 countries with the goal of eradicating poverty around the world, Christian Aid has utilized SharePoint as a business critical system for more than 10 years. The organisation uses SharePoint to collaborate on and store important content including contracts, partner documentation, and financial information. Of the company’s 900 users, 70 percent are based in the United Kingdom – where the company is headquartered – while 30 percent are based in remote offices in locations.
Due to its geographically dispersed user base the organisation began to experience challenges around ensuring user access to its on premises SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange instances located in the UK. This, along with an increasingly urgent need to update an Exchange server, prompted Christian Aid to move the majority of its content to Microsoft’s cloud productivity platform Office 365. “Because network connectivity is not always great for our remote users, it was not easy for them to obtain the information they needed,” said Srinivas Maddimsetty, Database Administrator at Christian Aid. “In all of our testing, Microsoft Office 365 provided much quicker access.”
The organisation moved 1.3 TB of data to Office 365 and left 150 gigabytes (GB) of content that needed to stay on premises – such as contracts – on SharePoint 2013 for a hybrid deployment. However, the organisation found that when it came to data protection in the cloud, Microsoft’s Service Level Agreements (SLAs) were not always sufficient. “Microsoft offered no item-level recovery of data and could only restore at the site level within 72 hours,” Maddimsetty said. “In addition to loss of productivity, this could cause us to lose any new content that was created after an item was lost – and we couldn’t afford to give up that flexibility.”
With a need for more comprehensive Office 365 data protection, Christian Aid sought a third-party solution.
In order to solve its challenge around data recovery in the cloud, Christian Aid ultimately chose to implement the DocAve Backup and Restore – part of AvePoint’s fully integrated DocAve Software Platform for SharePoint infrastructure management. DocAve Backup and Restore provides business-aware and comprehensive protection of SharePoint Server, virtual machines (VM), SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business. “We evaluated several products and chose DocAve over the rest,” Maddimsetty said. “We liked the fact that we could add other functionality for SharePoint management – such as replication – from the centralized platform as needed.”
DocAve provides comprehensive backup for Christian Aid’s entire SharePoint Online environment – including all content, customisations, solutions, apps, and features – to meet the organisation’s data protection specifications. “DocAve enables us to schedule full SharePoint Online backups monthly, differential backups every two weeks, and incremental backups daily, saving backups to our physical storage as necessary,” Maddimsetty said. “DocAve is much simpler to use than native SQL Server backups – enabling our other database administrators and developers to manage our SharePoint backups with ease when I am away.”
DocAve’s biggest selling point for Christian Aid, however, was its ability to granularly recover both on-premises and cloud-based SharePoint content down to the item level. This was put to the test shortly after implementation when a user accidentally deleted an important contract. “We didn’t even need to call offsite – I simply went through DocAve’s restore process and was able to get the document back to the user within two hours,” Maddimsetty said. “Relying on Microsoft alone or using native restore capabilities, it would have taken as long as 72 hours.”
In addition to the time savings achieved by DocAve’s data recovery capabilities, Christian Aid was also able to ensure all content was returned to users with full fidelity intact – including permissions, version history, and all associated metadata. “DocAve’s ability to recover our content with full fidelity is important to us,” Maddimsetty said. “We can’t afford to lose metadata, as it is critical to our SharePoint search functionality.”
With its hybrid SharePoint environment enabling the entire workforce to collaborate better and faster, Christian Aid was also able to rely on DocAve in order to provide the utmost level of protection for the mission-critical system. Throughout his use of the tool, Maddimsetty was also able to count on AvePoint’s live, 24/7 support team whenever the need arose. “AvePoint’s technical support has been really awesome – I’ve had great experiences with them,” Maddimsetty said. “I give them five out of five stars.”
AvePoint is the Microsoft Cloud expert. Over 15,000 companies and 5 million cloud users trust AvePoint to accelerate the migration, management, and protection of their Office 365 and SharePoint data.
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