Devon and Cornwall secures its data management to ensure business continuity

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, covering the largest geographical police area in England, is upgrading it storage software to help adhere to compliance legislation and ensure 24×7 access to sensitive citizen and local authority data.

Nov 6, 2008
By Paul Jacques

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, covering the largest geographical police area in England, is upgrading it storage software to help adhere to compliance legislation and ensure 24×7 access to sensitive citizen and local authority data.

The responsibility of two counties and a seasonal influx of visitors, which causes the population to swell from around 1.5 million people to eight million during the summer months, puts immense pressure on the force’s data management.

As with any police force, there is a need for long-term, secure storage for highly-sensitive and important information, all required 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year. When combined with the additional need to meet regulations including the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information requests, the efficient management and protection of data is critical.

“Backup and recovery is a key business issue for Devon and Cornwall Constabulary,” said Malcolm Waite, project leader for the force.

“CommVault’s Simpana backup and archive software has helped simplify the process for us. We now have just one system to manage, instead of the previous five. It offers technology that is easier to manage, control and scale which gives us substantial operational and cost benefits.”

Mr Waite added: “We had a number of issues with our existing vendor which were proving difficult to solve. Product support was extremely poor and the time-to-fix on problems was slow. The infrastructure team was spending more and more time resolving issues and discrepancies between the backups and the backup reports – the team would often find that backups carried out from tapes hadn’t been completed successfully, even though the backup system had reported they were.

“A revolutionary change was needed. Deploying the new software gives us a single backup and archive infrastructure, managed from a single point. This, for the first time, gives us confidence in our backups and allows us to take control of data management.

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary is replacing its existing data protection infrastructure to gain a more flexible, scalable solution to help maximise business uptime and information availability, while streamlining the ability to manage and maintain its backup infrastructure.

A review of its existing infrastructure showed that it could not cope with the existing data loads and management requirements, let alone the requirements of new projects such as new fingerprinting techniques and the associated dramatically increasing data loads.

The new software minimises the number of products under management and therefore its overheads. CommVault’s backup and archive software also enables the constabulary to enhance service levels and drive down the overall cost of storage and administration.

Operating within guidelines for data availability and reflecting a strong business continuity strategy, the constabulary can now test for disaster and has the means to recover quickly from unscheduled outage. This means increased uptime, as well as continuous availability and easy access to documents, files and other materials.

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