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Wirebird helps save 108 terabytes of new client data

When a private equity firm decided to terminate a contract with its data storage partner it faced big problems when trying to recover information during the transition to new service and enterprise hosting provider Wirebird.

The customer wanted to switch providers because it had been experiencing problems with its former partner.  However, this previous vendor did not co-operate with the transition and set a tight deadline of one month for deleting the data from its systems as well as high fees for hosting it during the final stages of the agreement.

After resolving a number of ongoing issues and providing an innovative solution for the customer, Wirebird approached the engineering team at Kroll Ontrack to help design and resolve the missing piece for the customer’s backup infrastructure, one that would enable it to retrieve and restore its data in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

Valuable data at stake

The information in question was not structured customer data but did include sensitive emails that were of high importance to the company and its clients. The incumbent provider made it clear that it was going to wipe the disks clean and would only provide the client with backup tapes. The client had to make sure it could access data on the backup tapes before the disks were wiped.

Our expertise in working with many formats of backup software provided huge benefits to Wirebird’s client, which faced the twin risks of paying high fees for data hosting and the potential loss of 108 terabytes of data (or 36 million files) that could be needed when responding to litigation or regulatory requests in the future. Our partnership with Wirebird helped to resolve the missing piece of the solution.

Wirebird appointed us to help maintain access to the data on the tapes and provide restores when required. Yet without seeing the tapes we did not know how long the recovery would take, or how much data could be restored.

Our first action was, therefore, to suggest the construction of a catalogue detailing the data stored on each piece of media. The service provider was unwilling to provide a catalogue, so we needed to build this from scratch.

Inaccessible information

We immediately encountered some significant challenges, largely caused by the fact that the original service provider had its own method of backing up data. In theory, no-one else but the provider could recover data from the tapes, making the information secure but inaccessible at the end of the contract.

Fortunately, we were able to demonstrate that we could identify where each of the 36 million files was located on the 100 tapes as well as restore data from the tapes when needed.

This capability was tested in real-life when the client needed to respond to an urgent request for some specific emails as part of a litigation process and we were able to produce the data required within a short timeframe. This served as further proof that the client’s data was safe and could be restored whenever it was needed.

“Wirebird needed a partner it could trust to design and implement a resilient and scalable solution at short notice, Kroll Ontrack exceeded the scope and allowed Wirebird to focus on providing a comprehensive enterprise solution, with the assurance and confidence of a first rate backup strategy underpinning it.”

Andrew Newson, CTO, Wirebird.