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Customer success stories with Azure Backup: Russell Reynolds

Customers explain how Azure Backup helped them in moving to Azure and takes care of their backup and recovery requirements.

This is the first of a blog series which presents success stories from customers with Azure Backup. Here we discuss how Azure Backup helped Russell Reynolds

Customer background

Russell Reynolds is a global leadership and executive search firm which helps their clients with assessment, executive search, and leadership transitions within boards of directors, chief executive officers, and other key roles within the C-suite. Having moved to Azure to reduce their IT and datacenter costs, the company started to look for an alternative to their tape backups which was proving both cumbersome and expensive. Enter Azure Backup.

How Azure Backup helped

With Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager they backup their VMWare workloads locally and to Azure cloud where they can be retained up to 99 years eliminating their needs for tapes. They used the Azure Backup Offline Seeding capability to copy their initial 10 TB of data to cloud. Thereafter, Azure Backup transfers only incremental data during daily backups, reducing storage consumption and need for huge bandwidth.

“Even though we used very reputable partners for tape handling, it always made us nervous when our data left our facilities”, says David W.Pfister, Director of Global Distibuted Infrastructure and Client Services at Russell Reynolds Associates.“Now we know that our data is either on our premises or in the Azure cloud, which delivers greater peace of mind.”

Putting backup in Azure also yields savings.“Now we back up to a cheap bunch of disks rather than an expensive storage solution,” says Sean DeLessio, Lead Engineer on the Distributed Infrastructure Team at Russell Reynolds.“We don’t have to worry about managing space on expensive purpose-built backup storage systems. We have no tape costs, management costs, nothing. Backup is dramatically cheaper with Azure.”

By implementing backup and business continuity/disaster recovery in the cloud, Russell Reynolds has been able to reallocate one full-time staff member to new projects.”We’ve been able to transfer resources from 'keeping the lights' on activities to new project work that makes the business more competitive,” Pfister says.

Relieving staff members of mundane, repetitive chores such as managing tapes also results in a better quality of life for employees.“What we’ve found is that the cloud has allowed our staff to focus on activities that are more strategic and architectural to learning new skills. It’s really rejuvenated them. We’ve seen a renewed focus on and excitement in learning, which we’ve made a priority”, Pfister says.


By using Azure Backup and getting better protection for business-critical workloads, greater peace of mind, lower costs, and an excited staff, Russell Reynolds believes that these add up to a pretty good ROI.“Our market is always moving faster, and the cloud allows us to be more nimble and aggressive,” Pfister says.”We can focus more on where we want to go and less on how to get there. We’re no longer worrying about backup, DR, and other operational tasks.” 

Source: Azure case study from Russel Reynolds

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