About Respond! Housing Association
Founded in 1982, Respond! Housing Association designs and builds houses for people who otherwise might not be in a position to provide safe, secure, long-term housing for themselves. Working in partnership with Government, local authorities, and other organisations, Respond! aims to improve living conditions and stimulate social partnership and active citizenship.
Having built over 5,500 homes in Ireland, Respond! is currently responsible for the ongoing management of 4,100 properties around the country. As an Approved Housing Body (AHB), the organisation provides ongoing support to its tenants and the communities in which it works, and employs 250 people nationwide.
Having utilised a tape-based backup for a long time, Respond! adopted a 5TB Datto Siris backup solution a number of years ago. However, the organisation’s continued expansion meant that it needed an even more powerful backup and business continuity solution to manage the burgeoning levels of sensitive tenant data that it was tasked with storing. Prior to the latest upgrade, Respond!’s backup appliance was running at 80.2% of available disk space and managing 21 backup agents. As such, it was essential for the association to replace the device before backup space became a critical issue.
“Our old backup solution was close to capacity since it had been running for a number of years. We needed an even more powerful and scalable alternative which offered increased capacity and the ability to easily restore backups,” said Greg Poland, IT manager, Respond!
“We were looking for a solution which would backup our entire virtual server infrastructure both locally and off site, offering us true protection from downtime, even if our physical hardware has been destroyed,” continued Greg.
Having looked at a number of solutions and providers, Respond! once again opted for a Datto backup and business continuity technology, and chose Datapac, the only Datto Elite Partner in Ireland, to carry out the implementation. The companies had already worked together for a number of years, and so when the decision was made to upgrade, Datapac was the obvious choice. The provider conducted an audit of Respond!’s requirements and installed a Datto Siris SE10000 backup solution, all while minimising disruption to the association’s ongoing work.
“As Respond!’s infrastructure is spread all throughout the country we knew that we needed a comprehensive solution including cloud backup. Datapac understood this, and took the time to research exactly which technology would be the right fit for us. We had an existing relationship with Datapac and we trusted them; they had offered us technical support and consultation for over seven years – that speaks for itself,” said Greg.
Datapac also helped Respond!’s IT department to configure a bespoke Office 365 solution, granting its staff the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere with an internet connection.
Space for expansion
Respond! has experienced a range of benefits from the new Datto solution. First of all, the appliance has eased any concerns regarding available backup space. The new 10TB Datto appliance doubled Respond!’s backup capacity, giving them plenty of room for future expansion, as well as full confidence in face of potential downtime. Under 4TB of the available 10.15TB is currently in use, and all 21 backup agents can be now managed with ease. This also provides plenty of space for expansion, and will see the organisation through a number of years.
What’s more, the solution backs up all of Respond!’s critical servers offsite giving the customer true business continuity. Whether it’s a hardware failure, malware, or a natural disaster Datto permits the association to instantly restore accounts and operate as usual, while providing the IT team with the time to fix any issues without compromising any data, or incurring downtime. This means that Respond! can continue to serve all of their tenants, and pay particular time and personal attention to those who need them most.
Greg Poland said: “This new technology saves our team a lot of time, as performing backups used to be very time consuming. Datto is currently set up to automatically back up our systems twice daily, meaning that if anything were to happen to our files we could restore to within four hours. We are confident that backups have been made without errors or data corruption and they are always ready for fast recovery.
“Datapac has provided us with a fantastic product and world-class levels of service and support. Whenever people ask me about our experience with Datapac I’m always ready to sing their praises, and I would happily recommend their services to any organisation.”
Peace of mind
Karen O’Connor, general manager service delivery, Datapac, said: “By increasing the amount of backup space this new solution provides Respond! with absolute peace of mind. Their team can rest assured that the data is safely backed up at any given time, both on premise and into the cloud. We are delighted to have been able to help Respond! once again to find the right solution for their business needs. We will continue to offer them service and support so that they can focus on the great work they are doing around Ireland.”
"With Datapac’s managed services we have an IT team that has expertise across a very wide range of technologies. Smartsourcing IT resources makes sense for an organisation such as ours, which relies heavily on cutting edge IT to protect and streamline our operations, without the need for a huge cost outlay".
"At Barretstown, we rebuild the lives of children, and their families, affected by childhood cancer and other serious illnesses. We serve 5,000 campers a year and have 1200 volunteers each year. Communication is crucially important and Datapac has helped us to streamline, improve and ensure efficiency."
"For many years Datapac has been our sole supplier for the maintenance of Personal Computers and Peripherals in Ireland. Through their Service Centres in Wexford and Dublin, Datapac provides excellent support to our businesses throughout the country and consistently meets the SLA targets which we have set. The skill, expertise and experience of their engineers and other technical support personnel are of the highest standard."
“The value of dealing with an HP Gold partner in this process can’t be underestimated. Datapac provide us with a local touch and can cover the full range of our IT requirements, but when there is a specific technical requirement like this, they can bring the specialist technical resources of HP to the table. HP and Datapac had a thorough discussion with us around our requirement - and had really done their homework - and then were able to provide us with a very highly specified test platform for us to prove the application on before we committed to purchase.”
Datapac understands our needs and requirements and has the expertise and experience to follow through on all our requests. Our constant need to reduce costs has been assisted by Datapac's ability to suggest alternative solutions and methods whilst improving both efficiency and productivity. Our partnership with Datapac is akin to having an IT department on site that we simply could not provide ourselves.