Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Cuts Time to Restore Microsoft® SharePoint® Data by 99% with DocAve®

Critical Needs

  • Full system, granular, and incremental backups customised according to business need and run on a scheduled basis
  • Swift restoration of lost or deleted content for end users

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  • Hawke’s Bay Regional Council
  • Customer Location Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
  • Industry Public Sector
  • Platform SharePoint 2010
  • AvePoint Solutions Backup & Restore

Success Highlights

  • Restored SharePoint content in 15 minutes, 99% faster than the estimated two days required by SharePoint’s native abilities
  • Scheduled full system backups to occur over the weekend, as well as nightly granular and incremental backups to run automatically on week nights, protecting critical data according to organisational needs and limiting business disruption
  • Backed up and recovered SharePoint data with full fidelity, maintaining all metadata, security settings, and version histories
DocAve is ‘industrial strength’ data protection for SharePoint.
Rob Simpson Systems Engineer, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

The Challenge

As a public sector organisation, HBRC has a number of statutory obligations around record keeping and web standards. Systems that manage documents and website content were becoming outdated and were long overdue for replacement. The HBRC website was meeting some web standards, but not all, and was rapidly slipping down the national rankings for local authority websites. The HBRC document management system was also old and cumbersome, thus not meeting the needs of business users around usability, and find-ability of records and was also inadequate for today’s statutory obligations for record keeping.

To advance and meet statutory obligations and business users’ needs, HBRC decided that SharePoint 2010 was the perfect platform upon which to build new website, extranet, intranet, and document management systems. To ensure the most ‘fit for purpose’ solution was delivered, HBRC engaged two separate consulting agencies: one for the organisation’s website and extranet and one for the intranet and document management system. “SharePoint is a platform that seems to have come of age, and thankfully we had industry leading vendors who specialised in this functionality to partner with HBRC to make it all happen,” said Rob Simpson, Systems Engineer at HBRC. “It was clear that Microsoft would be supporting SharePoint for a long time to come.”

To achieve this functionality, HBRC worked with the agencies to build four SharePoint farms. The organisation’s website and extranet, which is accessed by several hundred unique visitors each day, holds approximately 4 gigabytes (GB) of data. The intranet and document management system, which is accessed by approximately 150 employees, holds another 2 GB of data at present, but will soon hold approximately two terabytes of data when file share content is fully migrated.

With critical data for both internal and external purposes living in SharePoint, HBRC needed to ensure data was backed up according to organisational needs and easily recoverable. “We were concerned about the fact that SharePoint required us to recover our entire database if documents were lost or deleted by end users,” Simpson said. “Based on our experience recovering email systems requiring their entire databases, we estimated this could take us as long as two days to accomplish.”

The AvePoint Solution

To meet HBRC’s SharePoint data protection needs, one of the agencies recommended AvePoint’s DocAve Backup and Restore as the best-of-breed product. DocAve provides business-aware, comprehensive, SLA-driven protection of SharePoint environments, addressing the need for a fast, flexible, and intelligent backup solution. “DocAve is ‘industrial strength’ data protection for SharePoint,” Simpson said. “It allows us to easily restore our entire farm or just a single item if necessary.”

DocAve’s full, incremental, and differential backup capabilities enabled HBRC to build backup plans and schedules that focused on frequent backup of high-priority data, improving backup operations and storage efficiency. Simpson scheduled full system backups to take place on weekends and granular and incremental backups on weeknights, with each occurring outside of business hours to optimize system performance. “With DocAve, SharePoint backups take care of themselves,” Simpson said. “If there are any issues with our system during backups, I am notified via email so I can address the problem.”

As required, DocAve enabled HBRC to quickly and easily recover critical documents, sites, or subsites directly to the original media. All restores of missing or corrupted content could be processed in a live SharePoint environment during standard hours of operation without interrupting the flow of business. “We’ve tested DocAve’s ability to granularly restore items and it does what we expected it to do,” Simpson said. “It only takes approximately 15 minutes to restore SharePoint content.”

Simpson was able to work with AvePoint’s live, 24/7 technical support team whenever questions arose. “AvePoint’s technical support is first class,” Simpson said. “They’re quick to respond, easy to work with, and lay out all the steps I need to follow to resolve issues.”

The Bottom Line

In addition to helping implement the backup plans the organization required for its SharePoint data, DocAve reduced the time required to granularly restore content for HBRC by 99 percent. As the organization migrates file share content into SharePoint and begins to use the platform as its primary document management system, DocAve’s enterprise-class data protection abilities will be more important to HBRC than ever. “As SharePoint takes off throughout our organisation, it is critical we be able to restore documents with confidence, quickness, and ease,” Simpson said. “With DocAve, we’re able to do all of that.”

About Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

Hawke's Bay Regional Council (HBRC) is based in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand and manages the air, land, water, and coastal resources of the region. HBRC exists because of its statutory role in four core functions:

Natural resource knowledge and management

Natural hazard assessment and management

Regional strategic planning

Regional scale infrastructure and services

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council