Oncore IT signs RP Martin

Source: Oncore IT

Oncore IT, a Cloud and IT managed services provider, today announced that it has signed a one year contract with RP Martin, an international wholesale money-broker, to provide a cost effective and resilient public Cloud-based backup and archival solution to ensure regulatory compliance, reduce infrastructure expenditure and minimise day-to-day IT management overhead.

As part of the outsourced service, Oncore IT is providing two storage solutions: 2.5 TB of 'live' online backup based on Asigra software and 2.5 TB of archive storage. In other words, RP Martin is using a Backup Lifecycle Management (BLM) approach to tier its offsite data storage based on age and therefore importance and value to the business, saving £22,500 or just over 27% on its overall storage bill as a result.

Probably the oldest money brokerage in the world, RP Martin today employs 355 staff in 10 countries. With a turnover of £84.4 million, RP Martin acts as a middleman in over the counter (OTC) financial markets in Europe, Asia, Africa and America bringing together buyers and sellers of bonds, currency and financial derivatives, and transacting business on behalf of them. Its clients are blue chip organisations mainly banks and financial institutions.

To meet stringent USA and UK regulatory compliance legislation, RP Martin is required to keep all information related to financial transactions in perpetuity. Primarily this is data from its in-house developed ticketing system - called BOSS - which records all financial deals made, but email has to be stored as well.

Scott Martin, RP Martin's IT manager, says, "Over time our storage needs have grown hugely given the requirement to keep information should there be a future query. Keeping records of transactions and being able to recover information quickly back to a certain point of time is why we are working with a specialist managed service provider like Oncore IT."

RP Martin has outsourced backup for a variety of reasons. First, infrastructure costs are saved given it avoids having to buy hardware, backup media and paying to ensure the availability of these systems offsite. Second, it removes the need for non-technical staff to actually carry out and manage the backup process themselves which is important as some of its remote offices have no local IT staff present. Third, it has a team of external experts monitoring 24/7 the status of all backups completed - irrespective of public holidays - and highlighting if there are any data transfer issues.

Oncore IT first started working for RP Martin in 2008. Scott Martin explains, "We moved away from a previous supplier as Oncore IT was substantially cheaper and offered a much more resilient service given they have a London data centre and a replicated facility on mainland Europe."

To start the service, a number of USB connected disc drives were provided by Oncore IT and RP Martin's IT staff ran an initial data load from its systems based in London and five international offices. These discs were then taken away and loaded into Oncore IT's multi tenanted Asigra-based public Cloud storage platform and a specific RP Martin 'vault' created.

To then establish the data updates, one Asigra monitoring client - called a DS Agent - was installed in RP Martin's environment to collect data from its servers. This massively simplifies rollout and contrasts with the previous solution [provided by the other supplier] which required monitoring agents on each and every system.

Once the Asigra DS Agent was installed, data has streamed automatically to the RP Martin vault which includes not only files and data, but applications and even operating systems so that a complete backup solution is delivered.

Database data and log files are backed up every hour, each day, mid month, at the end of each month and at year-end so the amount of data - and therefore the cost - has grown quickly. Utilising BLM means that RP Martin has been able to save money on premium online storage by putting it into a cheaper archive solution but still based on the high performance Asigra solution. In total, RP Martin is spending £20,625 per quarter on storage and monitoring.

Data is stored both in Oncore IT's fully resilient London data centre but then de-duplicated, encrypted, compressed and transmitted to its Amsterdam site for total security.

Scott Martin concludes, "While we still need to monitor our data and check retention rules and not totally walk away from the whole backup process, outsourcing to Oncore IT has taken the whole problem of day-to-day management out of our hands. While we fortunately haven't had to use their service that often, we know Oncore IT is monitoring our systems closely. They know our sites and services well, such they have become a trusted partner who I would wholeheartedly recommend."

Paul Cook, Oncore IT's head of sales and marketing, says, "Our Cloud-based pay-to-store managed service means you can save data over the Internet to offsite disc storage with complete confidence about the security and speed of information recovery, guaranteed by service level agreements second to none. We recognise that business data devalues as it ages so we adopt BLM principals along with multi-tiered storage to enable data to be restored within a time period appropriate to its value, and budgets available. That's exactly what RP Martin has done." 

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