Case study: Leading South African insurance company chooses OneXafe as the best option for future-proofing its storage, strengthening its data resilience posture
With the fast-paced nature of the insurance industry, data resilience and business continuity are among the top priorities for IT professionals. This trend/development brings storage and disaster recovery to the forefront of their agenda.
Badger International is a company that specialises in insurance and related services. Founded in 1995, it currently employs over 1 200 staff members across South Africa and Australia and insures over 180 000 clients with premiums in excess of US$100 million. Its success lies in establishing innovative insurance entities and partnering with great people who have excellent track records. Badger International believes in building partnerships that allow companies to reach their full potential and grow successfully.
As a result, Badger International recognises technology as an important business enabler to provide the highest quality insurance services to their customers.
Badger International’s IT infrastructure is distributed across three different sites within South Africa and consists of more than 16 physical servers and approximately 100 virtual machines.
It is mission-critical for Badger International to protect all data from any incident, be it fire, water damage, power failure, ransomware or others. Consequently, storage management and data protection are of strategic importance to them.
Two costly storage attached network (SAN) appliances from HP and Lenovo were reaching full capacity and had to be upgraded. George McKay, Group Head of IT, started to look for a flexible, scalable, efficient and sustainable storage solution that would solve the equation of managing, protecting and delivering around-the-clock access to the ever- growing amount of data in a highly secured and cost-effective way.
Furthermore, Badger's compliance auditors asked the company to store its data externally; consequently, to meet this requirement, replication of data became a priority. Lastly, Badger International wanted to deploy a storage solution that would increase protection against ransomware
"After considering various options, including upgrading the two SANs, we choose StorageCraft OneXafe 4412 for its simplicity, scale-out functionality, as well as replication and ransomware protection capabilities," said McKay.
Working with in conjunction with its service provider, Galix Security Solutions, and the local StorageCraft distributor, LOOPHOLD, Badger International evaluated a number of options before choosing the StorageCraft OneXafe 4412 appliance, featuring scale-out object-based NAS storage.
The primary use case for the OneXafe 4412 was to shift the secondary storage load from the existing SANs, provide off-site replication for compliance purposes and protect against ransomware. As a result, the data is now being replicated successfully between the offices in Springs and George, as well as the data centre in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
With so much business-critical data at stake, and as an insurance organisation, McKay has naturally deployed an extensive prevention security infrastructure. In addition, OneXafe provides Badger International the reassurance that its data could easily be restored in case of data loss. To protect the insurance provider and its client data against ransomware, OneXafe takes immutable snapshots every 90 seconds, so files can be easily recovered should an attack ever be successful.
After more than one year of using StorageCraft OneXafe appliances, Badger International’s IT team has a simplified, flexible and protected secondary storage infrastructure. The ease of deployment, use and management allows the team to optimise their workload and spend more time on strategic projects, without having to worry about their storage solution.
The unpredictable capacity requirements for data, combined with the high standards for availability and security, put a significant amount of pressure on McKay and his team. StorageCraft OneXafe alleviated a lot stress, as the solution requires very little configuration and the intuitive and user-friendly OneSystem allows for simple management. The scale-out architecture, along with built-in data protection, deduplication, site-to-site replication and “bring your own drives” capability make it an ideal storage solution for McKay to better support Badger International’s business expansion.
While the two SANs are still operational, their function is now only focused on primary storage and their shelf life has been expanded by at least another 18 months. This allows Badger International to realise significant cost savings, as it does not need to upgrade the appliances as quickly as originally planned.
Given the successful deployment of the three OneXafe 4412 appliances, Badger is looking at standardising its secondary storage requirements on the StorageCraft platform for the group’s other companies.
"OneXafe is the perfect solution for us, killing two birds with one stone! On one hand, we were able to offload our secondary data from our expensive SANs, allowing us to use existing assets much longer and save budget. On the other hand, we now have a solution that not only has enough storage for our requirements today, but also enough scalability to support us for years to come! This has been a great investment," said McKay.