Liverpool FC gives tape back-up the boot to aid data restoration

The premiership football club has switched from tape to disk backup to reduce costs and provide greater peace of mind in the event of data loss.

Liverpool FC has shown its old tape-based back-up processes the red card and is now using a disk-to-disk storage solution to ensure data can be quickly and easily restored in the event of a problem.

The premiership football club is using a distributed, agentless back up and recovery tool called Televaulting from data storage specialist Asigra to look after business-critical information across its three main sites: Anfield stadium and the Melwood and Academy training grounds.

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Data generated through online ticketing and point-of-sale transaction details from the club's shop as well as all e-mails are also taken care of with the new technology, meaning that the club can quickly and easily restore data when required without adversely impacting on the daily running of the business.

Using the old tape-based processes, the entire system had to be closed down each time Liverpool FC wanted to back up its AS/400 ticketing machine, meaning the club was forced into limiting such activity to once a day.

Now, however, backups are automatically carried out on an hourly basis, freeing up IT staff to work on other value-added tasks.

"The service has eliminated the ongoing hidden costs and wasted man hours we were experiencing with tape backup, such as buying new tapes, switching tapes, and transferring tapes to and from the storage depot," said Ken Webster, Liverpool FC's IT manager.

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"Our IT staff are now freed up to concentrate on developing new technologies to increase the productivity of the business. With the Asigra software we are now protecting all our e-mails as well as the data from our laptop users, when they are on the move. This provides peace of mind for both the commercial and corporate sides of our business."

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Most football clubs today are run just like any other business, meaning they are under increasing pressure to do more with less and turn in a profit.

Liverpool FC is no exception, according to Ashley Harding, the club's network manager.

"Should disaster strike, such as our PCs being permanently damaged, lost or stolen, or the online ticketing system crashing, this would be a major concern for us as a highly competitive business, and a high-profile premiership football club," he said.

"With [this solution] we know we can retrieve any lost data within minutes rather than days and with encryption of data in-flight and at-rest, stolen data cannot be read. The bare metal restore solution means that even if our entire technology systems go down and we lose equipment, we can be back up and running within a single day."

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