Goodman Masson is a recruitment firm based in London, Dusseldorf and New York, specialising in hiring across Finance, Technology and Specialist Markets. With over 43 major awards for Recruitment and Engagement it is no surprise that many of their clients ask them to not just do their recruitment but advise on their working environment and employer brand.
Whilst running a hybrid cloud set up, Goodman Masson were really struggling with managing to backup all their data precisely as they needed it. The challenge was to architect a backup solution that met their retention, recovery and resiliency needs at a price that suited the business. With a small non production window to workaround, and over 6TB of production data as well as 18TB of resilient backup data, there was an additional challenge to fit the level of redundant backups into the non production windows that were available.
Goodman Masson has various data retention and recovery needs for their compliance programme. We carefully mapped out their recovery requirements per workload, including an ideal RPO and RTO. We proposed different options to develop a balance between cost, retention, and recovery objectives during the process. Once we had developed a model that we signed off with the business, we started implementing and tested our selected toolset.
Despite some initial challenges with bandwidth and bottlenecks in the environment that we carefully tuned, we also had to work out how to reduce the estates backup window from 12 hours to the 4 hour target. Due to the amount of data and resiliency requirements, we used a hybrid approach. MSP360 Cloudberry combined with AWS storage solutions gave us the flexibility to deliver a solution that met the businesses requirements and reduce backup storage costs by 30%.
For workloads running in AWS, we leveraged the native AWS snapshot tools to store in AWS EBS volumes. We leveraged our MSP360 CloudBerry partnership and installed their backup tools across the board for the on-premises environment to manage the backups carefully. This allowed us to create the backup schedule outlined in the backup profile and backed up directly to secure AWS S3 locations. The flexibility, simplicity and low cost of the MSP360 Cloudberry solutions ensured that we had a solution for every workload, retention policy and source to destination backup required. These backups were either Image level or File & Folder. We implemented a policy to take certain snapshots of data each month for several months to halve the recovery point and keep the required retention without costing an unnecessary amount. By carefully selecting the right destination for the backup restore data we were also able to both decrease backup windows and reduce the Recovery Time by 30 – 60 minutes.
By utiliting the specific MSP360 CloudBerry SQL tool, we were able to take the granular backups of the SQL Database to AWS. We ensure that the backups to the SQL database are completed out of business hours to ensure there is no interruption to the business and operation.
When storing infrequently accessed data on servers, we would typically apply the HHD option, which would keep costs to a minimum but still give good read/write performance. If required at any time, this can be upgraded on the fly to GP2, which is the standard AWS EBS volume usage. The option to enable volume encryption allows us to secure the data on the AWS EBS volumes if the files were ever downloaded from the AWS platform. In this use case, we use AWS EBS volumes for servers within AWS which allows quick and easy expansion of the drives once they reach capacity and allow the system to stay online while the expansion is happening. As the cost is calculated via the amount of GB allocated, we can update the client with monthly cost increases for expanding the drives. This gives us super flexible expansion / scaling options while allowing us to manage and maintain costs.
We have used AWS Trusted Advisor to produce a list of AWS EBS Volumes that are being over utilised. Based on the usage, we can then move forward with changing the type of storage. Volumes that are also unattached or underutilised will be shown in Trusted Advisor, which our Daily Operations team will work on. This was one of our key activities to achieve the 30% cost reduction for backup storage.
We run a quarterly TCO management process to thoroughly review every aspect of technology spend on the AWS platform. We also leverage tagging and consistent reporting on forecast spends and intra-month adjustments as required. We are proficient in using the AWS cost management tools and regularly utilise billing alarms with our clients. Our Professional Services team ensure that these alarms are updated depending on current and forecasted change for our clients. Tagging for instances, volumes and snapshots are completed with new resources to ensure we can inform clients of accurate billing changes and the reasons behind them. Numerous clients receive a monthly breakdown of their services, allowing them to compare the previous months' spend.