Acens, one of the hosting service provider pioneers in Spain and part of the Telefonica Group offers housing services (also known as co-location services) and communication solutions for businesses, especially for the small and medium business sector (SMEs). With nearly 20 years of history, it serves more than 60,000 clients in countries such as Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Peru through two data centres located in Spain, one in Madrid and the other in Barcelona.
“Within the Telefonica Group, Acens offers flexible, secure and effective solutions for both SMEs and large enterprises across public, private or hybrid cloud environments, as well as ‘traditional’ hosting services (mail, presence, SEO…), among others,” explained Ricardo de la Cruz, Security and Private Cloud Product Manager at Acens. “We’re talking about innovative projects tailored to each type of business.”
So what are the characteristics of SMEs? “Compared with a large enterprise, the main difference is related to their IT resources, which are often limited and as a result, they require flexible and straightforward solutions that do not involve additional costs for their business.”
“Acens offers a broad portfolio that complements extensive experience in the SME segment. This feature, coupled with our flexibility to adapt to the requirements of each company, allows us to have products and services that fully fit the needs of our clients,” explained Ricardo de la Cruz.
The challenge: data integrity and reliable access to information
Within the disruption of digital transformation that companies face, Acens has especially focused on one area: data integrity with guaranteed access to information by their customers. The capacity and criticality of information stored by companies has increased exponentially in recent years, so it is essential to provide a solid backup and recovery service to ensure information availability in all circumstances.
As a global supplier, Acens has experienced firsthand the cloud explosion. “Digital transformation is underway,” said Ricardo de la Cruz. “Acens as a leading MSP has always offered technologies that allowed backup to ensure data availability for our clients,” explained Ricardo de la Cruz, “but the rise of cloud models presents new scenarios which in turn generate new challenges. On one hand, attend to this backup demand of various technologies from a single platform to centralise and simplify management, thus optimising IT resources and on the other, it offers a strong market tool with a solution base to meet all current needs ensuring continuity and evolution of the product in the future.”
An innovative approach: multi-site management, but still centralised
To meet this need, Acens has chosen Commvault. “The main reason is that this vendor meets all our requirements with high-level software that fully fits with our needs.”
Ricardo de la Cruz also highlighted the consolidation provided by the centralised management. “After analysing the solutions on the market, we saw that Commvault is a reference point also in this regard,” he explained, “as it guarantees investment in the future. It is a technology that progresses through several research and development lines, aligned with market developments in the medium and long term.”
Every day, Acens handles thousands of dedicated servers and VMs from hosting environments for tens of thousands of customers, which means managing hundreds of TBs, backed with source deduplication, which in turn translates into petabytes of information stored in its data centres. In this sense, Acens provides all the necessary resources to facilitate the use and deployment of backup services ensuring a good experience: “We offer everything they need in terms of software, documentation, support – so that they can deploy the solution in their facilities and make use of it in a simple and self-managed manner.”
In addition to offering companies the possibility of having a high-end cloud-based backup with Commvault technology, Acens makes use of this technology to support its own critical environments, thanks to an ecosystem of media agents that provide platform for hypervisors, databases, operating systems or mail, among others.
Benefits: flexibility, scalability, security… no surprises
With the implementation of the Commvault platform and through its data deduplication and compression technologies, Acens has leveraged the opportunity to consolidate its backup services on physical disk to the detriment of traditional systems, enabling optimised processes to cover large data volumes. “In addition, we’ve had a reduction of around 60% in dedicated storage costs,” explained Ricardo de la Cruz, “and improved service response times by around 70%.”
Another key aspect is centralised management. “It’s one of the main needs we had; to have a data management platform that allows an accurate approach to the different service solutions.” With the deployed architecture, Acens can now safeguard its customers’ data, with the option for them of autonomously running recovery efforts when necessary. Apart from traditional media agents, Acens also works to integrate its backup policies with other platforms — for example, those concerning storage with HP or NetApp solutions.
“We are very pleased with the flexibility provided by the Commvault solution, as it has given us stability and scalability, along with a strong management capacity,” pointed out Ricardo, who insisted on the other key factor in the choice: the human factor. “It is a key element and it has been decisive throughout this time.”
GDPR: adapting to new European Data Protection Laws
In May 2018, the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, which will require organisations to adopt a new culture in the way they manage the information they handle through their activity.
The legislation includes the new ‘data protection officer’ concept, which is a role to monitor compliance and it can be done by someone from the company staff or by an outsourced IT platform. Likewise, companies must adapt their own systems or go for these outsourced platforms. “Many SMEs will opt for the outsourcing,” explained Ricardo, “so they will have to depend on a reliable entity to meet their obligations and ensure confidentiality and availability for their data. And this scenario is where the figure of a trusted supplier, like Acens, is key.”
Responsible for its clients’ files and data, Acens is adapting its platform and services to the new regulations, relying on the most innovative technologies. “This adaptation work is easier by having certifications such as AENOR’s ISO 27001, recognised by Information Security Management System (ISMS) and implemented in our data centre in Madrid since 10 years ago.” In addition, Acens has a team of experts who can advise on the most suitable services for compliance.
Future plans: collaborating to innovate
Having solved the equation of management and protection for its customers’ data, Acens now has a new objective; to offer a ‘360 degree’ backup service. “We want to offer our customers a self-management model, with a simple and supported installation for all types of platforms.”
The goal is to continue to move the platform to a multi-tenant model and an even easier backup management for the user.