In a digitally driven world, Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) data is critical for the state-owned entity toperform its mandated functions. Having an effective backup and restore capability is integral in protecting this data.
A division of Transnet, TNPA controls and manages all commercial ports on South Africa’s coastline. It is the largest port authority in Southern Africa in terms of cargo volumes and is responsible for providing port infrastructure and marine services as well as ensuring the safe, effective and efficient economic functioning of the national ports system.
TNPA used to rely on users manually saving their data, an inefficient practice that left the organisation vulnerable to data loss. With an excess of 1 800 desktop and notebook computers across eight ports and the TNPA head office, this manual process relied heavily on human compliance. This changed at the end of 2011 when it awarded Altonet with the tender to bring the whole process online.
Altonet’s CEO, Gareth Tudor, recently outlined how the company has ensured TNPA’s date is now secure.
“TNPA needed an intelligent, automated and secure backup solution.We were awarded the tender at the end of 2011 and we conducted due diligence in March 2012, ensuring that all hardware and software met requirements, after whichthe rollout began. This was completed towards the end of 2012. During this time we also provided an educational workshop for helpdesk staff to ensure that they are able to deliver support to users, should this be required.”
One of the most important requirements was for a fully automated solution that provided auto-scheduling of backups as well as fixed opportunistic backup, and which would run in the background without interrupting users.
Centralised management, strong encryption, version control and the ability to work in a virtual machine environment were also critical, as well as the ability to backup open files as well as saved files. Data de-duplication technology was required to optimise storage capacity, along with support for multiple user profiles on machines, rollout via Active Directory and support for both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows operating systems.
“TNPA also required the ability to lock user profiles, and specify attributes and file types that each user or group of users are required to back up. This helps to further optimise storage, ensuring that only critical business-related data is stored. Back-end reporting was also required for visibility on all users, showing when backups occurred and how much data was backed up each time,” Tudor adds.
He concludes: “The biggest threat to business, with all employees working either on laptops or desktops, is a loss of data resulting from people not backing up their work. HP Autonomy Connected Backup minimised this risk by automating backup and ensuring that if data is lost for whatever reason, it can be swiftly retrieved. We are confident that the data is stored safely and that we are compliant with legislation around data retention. We have already seen the benefits of this by being able to quickly recover lost data and get TNPA staff back to full productivity in short order.”