Altonet delivers secure, compliant data protection for National Airways Corporation

National Airways Corporation is the largest general aviation company in Africa, offering a full range of aviation services including aircraft sales, aircraft maintenance, parts, charters, international operations and pilot training.

April 16, 2013

National Airways Corporation (NAC) is the largest general aviation company in Africa, offering a full range of aviation services including aircraft sales, aircraft maintenance, parts, charters, international operations and pilot training. The company is headquartered at Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg, with offices across the country in Cape Town, Durban, Grand Central Airport, Wonderboom Airport and Rand Airport. This distributed environment, along with a host of compliance regulations from both an internal and customer perspective, made backup and data protection a challenging prospect. When NAC identified several weaknesses with its current backup strategy, they turned to Altonet and the HP Autonomy LiveVault solution to address these issues.

“Previously, we were using a combination of different manual backup processes. These were inefficient and time consuming, and were not compliant with a number of standards as laid out by our customers, which consist of large international organisations with stringent processes and requirements. For auditing purposes, our existing strategy was not sufficient. The weaknesses in our backup strategy also became apparent after we experienced a system failure. Altonet worked with us to find the most cost effective solution to our problems, and we selected the HP Autonomy LiveVault system as a result,” says Andrew McGurk, Manager: IT, National Airways Corporation.

Each of the six NAC sites was previously responsible for its own backup, and there was no centralised service to ensure this occurred. Adding to this challenge, the area where the company’s head office is located frequently experiences unstable power, with dips and spikes causing data loss despite a backup generator being in place. The area is also prone to theft, which means that physical data loss is also a concern for the company.

HP Autonomy LiveVault helps to address these issues by combining proven disk and online technologies to deliver a fully managed service in the private cloud that automates, streamlines, and reduces the complexity of server backup. As a cloud solution, LiveVault is geographically independent, and provides automated and continuous backups from all sites to minimise the burden of managing the complex and error-prone manual data protection process. Recovery of data is also automated, as users can select the data to recover from a catalogue of archived file versions, and LiveVault automatically restores the data to the selected location.

“Each NAC site will make use of an onsite backup appliance, as well as centralised cloud backup and data protection. This will ensure that data can be restored quickly in the event of an incident. Furthermore, the data is stored offsite for risk mitigation and compliance purposes. This also offers the inbuilt redundancy required for compliance purposes,” says Gareth Tudor, CEO of Altonet.

“In order to minimise the upload time of the data, we will physically transport preconfigured servers to each site to complete a full backup via the Local Area Network (LAN). These servers will then be moved into the Altonet data centre in Isando and a local onboard of data will be conducted. From this point, incremental backups will be conducted online and to the onsite backup appliance to ensure that data backup remains up to date at all times,” he adds.

The HP Autonomy LiveVault solution will assist NAC with long-term retention and disaster recovery in the cloud, saving time on backup and recovery and helping the organisation to meet the complex compliance requirements of its international customers. Auditing is simplified, as reporting is automated and the solution provides a clear view of what has been backed up where, and for how long. Redundant cloud and onsite backup as well as the ability to restore to anywhere ensures that NAC will always be able to access its data in the event of disaster.

“The HP Autonomy LiveVault solution delivered by Altonet will help us to mitigate the risk that we identified with regard to our data backup, protection and recovery. The solution will allow us to achieve more comprehensive data protection and enhanced business continuity as a result,” McGurk concludes.