BackupAssist Advanced Case Study: Arquitectonica

BackupAssist transforms backup and recovery experience for architectural firm Arquitectonica with its set-and-forget software.

Founded in 1977, Arquitectonica is an architectural firm that has a major presence on the world architectural stage, with projects in 58 countries on five continents. Based in Miami with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Manila, Dubai, Lima, and Sao Paulo, Arquitectonica has received international acclaim for its bold modernism that became identified with a renaissance in Miami’s urban landscape.

Considered a pioneer of globalization in the architecture profession, Arquitectonica has received hundreds of design awards. Principals Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Laurinda Spear continue to explore and push the limits of their innovative use of geometry, pattern, and color to introduce a new brand of humanistic modern design to the world.

Business Challenges
With multiple offices around the world sharing data back and forth, Arquitectonica’s hybrid IT environment faced some significant challenges in relation to file backup and recovery. The company generates 4 to 5 terabytes of data each day (its primary applications are from Autodesk), with files ranging from architectural content to marketing material, back office billing records, and many other types of company and client information that needed to be quickly and easily accessed, as well as securely stored.

Arquitectonica’s biggest goal and challenge when it came to backup and recovery was finding a solution that would be durable and reliable long-term. The firm had previously used Symantec Backup Exec, but IT administrators found it cumbersome to use, and they constantly had to call support for help. It was particularly difficult—and sometimes impossible—to find backups for more historical data that was created and backed up four or more years ago. In addition to the fact that it was taking far too much work and time for the firm’s administrators to recover data, data recovery from backup was becoming required increasingly more often. Particularly during the firm’s busiest times, IT found themselves frequently scrambling to respond to recovery requests—whether to support general business requirements, or eDiscovery requirements for a lawsuit.

Arquitectonica relies on XIT Global, an IT services company and managed service provider, to operate as the architectural firm’s virtual IT department. Gabriel Mejia, Chief Information Officer at XIT Global, was responsible for first evaluating and selecting Arquitectonica’s backup and recovery solution, and then utilizing and managing the firm’s IT environment once the solution was in place.

After reviewing and considering a range of backup solutions including CA Arcserve, Mejia now uses BackupAssist to protect 100 percent of his clients’ IT infrastructures, including Arquitectonica’s environment. With this unique backup and recovery software and its automated backup feature that’s essentially “set and forget,” the firm is now able to store its backups with ease, so the files will be easily and quickly accessible when they are needed.

“It’s simple to use, inexpensive, and we have no problems with it,” said Mejia. “The solution won me over as it answered my most important questions: ‘What happens next year—or a few years from now—if I move to a new backup solution or environment? Can I still restore using the new backup solution?’ I’ve found that only BackupAssist can truly do this—it keeps the files in their original format, so backups and restores are seamless.”

Mejia emphasized that another reason for choosing BackupAssist is that he wanted to find an affordable solution that Arquitectonica and other clients would want to use three or more years down the road. “Backup is one of the top things you must do very well,” he said. “It must work smoothly, and this is exactly what you get with BackupAssist. It is very straightforward, and it can scale and handle all of Arquitectonica’s needs.”

With the implementation of BackupAssist, Arquitectonica began to enjoy a number of benefits. One immediate improvement was that since BackupAssist can restore from the local SAN, the firm was able to rely on quick access and quick restore of data whenever it was needed. Arquitectonica has a data retention policy of six months in the local office, so the firm additionally backs up to tape each month and to the Azure cloud in parallel, which is invaluable for disaster recovery—but recovery using only these methods would take weeks to download hundreds of terabytes.

“Before, you would search and pray that the files you were looking for were there,” explained Mejia. “And before, it would take months to recover the files you needed. With BackupAssist all that worry is gone, and recovery has gone from months to just hours. BackupAssist is easy—you just plug in the tape and recover the files. Everything is stored and backed up in its native format.”

Other benefits that the firm has appreciated since rolling out BackupAssist include an intuitive user interface to simplify backup management, the ability to schedule automated backups for speedy data security, and uniquely targeted restores that allow for fast and accurate file recovery. Additionally, the tool is cost-effective in that the firm pays only for the backup tools you need, not for the entire kit.

Arquitectonica has also deployed CryptoSafeGuard, BackupAssist’s in-built ransomware protection feature. CryptoSafeGuard uses a three-part defense strategy—to protect, detect, and respond—that protects backups from ransomware by stopping infected files from being backed up and preventing backups from being encrypted. “BackupAssist is one of the only solutions we know that offers this level of protection,” said Mejio. “We are very happy with it. We trigger a ransomware test attack two-times every day, and CryptoSafeGuard works every time.”

Looking Forward
Mejia explains that Arquitectonica has been thrilled with the results of using BackupAssist and CryptoSafeGuard in their environment. XIT Global plans to continue to recommend and deploy these solutions at the architectural firm and across all of XIT Global’s clients.

In addition, whenever Mejia has had a question, BackupAssist Service and Support has been immediately available with the right answer. He hopes they never have a problem, but is confident in BackupAssist’s ability to quickly rectify it.

Last but not least, Mejia to continued enhancements. “BackupAssist is always ahead of the pack in regards to rolling out new, innovative, necessary enhancements,” said Mejia. “No other solution backs up files the way BackupAssist does it. As Arquitectonica discovered, they make life a lot easier. We have not experienced a full data loss since deploying BackupAssist, but if it happened, we are confident we could restore everything accurately, quickly, and easily. It’s the right price and a superior solution.”


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