SeFlow Case Study

Dropsuite Server Backup to the Rescue

About SeFlow

SeFlow is a hoster and datacenter provider based in Milan, Italy that has built its reputation on helping SMBs grow by providing web hosting, virtual servers, dedicated servers and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DraaS) technology for data safeguarding and redundancy.

When co-founder, Matteo Berlonghi, started receiving a flurry of phone calls from concerned customers, he knew needed to take action. Some customers were unable to restore all or portions of their server data that SeFlow was trusted with backing up across two data centers that protected hundreds of Linux and Windows servers. A more reliable solution was needed that could be rolled out fast and easily managed by its two-person client support team.

For many years, SeFlow had been using a leading open source network backup tool for Linux. SeFlow’s system administrators used this backup tool to manage backup, recovery, and verification of its client’s Linux server data.

“We used open source backup for a reason — the price was right,” Matteo said.

Just because open source backup tools were within the budget, the company was increasingly accruing new expenses to manage software that they could not always rely on. More staff time was spent servicing unhappy clients and solving data emergencies. As internal costs kept growing, the quality of data backup wasn’t improving.

According to Matteo, their open source network backup tool kept freezing up — and this was the primary service that had been supervising all the backup, restore, verify and archive operations for SeFlow’s Linux servers. SeFlow was able to trace the source of their problems back to software compatibility issues, coupled with older versions of Windows that some of its clients were using. On top of that, WHMCS (web hosting automation platform) stopped working entirely — and there was no ETA for when these compatibility issues would be addressed.

Some clients were growing concerned with SeFlow’s ability to safeguard their server data. Matteo knew SeFlow’s reputation was on the line — so he and his team set out to find a better way to backup and restore their servers to better meet their client’s needs.

Vendor Selection

SeFlow undertook a comprehensive vendor selection process. Finding potential partners that could meet SeFlow’s capabilities, budget and timeline proved to be difficult.

In November 2016, SeFlow turned to Dropsuite for help. Dropsuite’s engineering team suggested leveraging the cost- effective Server Backup product which was very distinctive from other competitors’ more expansive (and more expensive) proposals.

Challenge

  • SeFlow’s existing open source solution for Linux server backup had become more and more unreliable
  • So much so that the company was losing customers because of a series of unsuccessful backups and restorations, resulting in loss of client data
  • SeFlow was starting to lose clients so it had to switch to a more reliable server backup solution to retain its credibility

Solution

  • Dropsuite’s Server Backup product for Linux saved the day
  • SeFlow considered using several other well-known data backup providers
  • SeFlow selected the Dropsuite app for Hostbill (billing platform) to quickly and easily migrate their existing Linux server customers over to Dropsuite

Why Dropsuite?

  • Very simple integration progress (one day vs. weeks) and no deep technical skills were required to set up and manage
  • Ability to confirm Linux servers were being backed up on a recurring basis (aka: peace of mind)
  • Pricing was affordable, enabling SeFlow to migrate more of it’s server backup clients to Dropsuite

Results

  • Successfully provisioned about 28 Linux servers so far. Migrated their most critical customers to Dropsuite first and there have been very few issues during the process
  • 102 servers in total are planned for Linux backup migration
  • High client satisfaction rate

Integration & Roll Out

SeFlow utilized Dropsuite’s app for Hostbill to quickly and easily migrate their existing Linux server customers over to Dropsuite.

The integration and testing phase started in December 2016, with the new server backup solution going live one day later.

“Dropsuite has one of the easiest installation and management processes I’ve ever experienced, claimed Matteo. “Their admin dashboard is very simple and accurate. Server backups are working well without requiring much maintenance time.”

SeFlow has taken a conservative approach to the transition so far, rolling out Dropsuite backup for its most important Linux clients first. They successfully provisioned 28 Linux servers so far, anticipating 102 Linux servers in total for backup migration.

SeFlow will likely use Dropsuite’s backup solutions for all Windows server backups in 2017 and beyond.

“We are now accelerating the migration effort for our Linux and Windows servers with Dropsuite’s Server Backup,” says Matteo. “Reliability is key and Dropsuite delivers a low maintenance solution.”

Results

With Dropsuite Server Backup, SeFlow has successfully replaced it’s previous backup solution with a reliable, affordable and easy to use solution that met all of its migration criteria. Additionally, their clients are happy and they’ve been able to stem the flow of client attrition — even winning back a few clients they lost. SeFlow is well on its way to restoring its reputation as a trusted data center provider.

Future Bright

Looking forward, SeFlow is mapping out the future of its own IT infrastructures as it looks to grow its business. They rely on partners like Dropsuite to outsource certain activities like data backup in the Cloud so they can allocate more of their precious internal resources to strategic IT planning, employee eduction, and datacenter expansion.

SeFlow has confidence in Dropsuite’s capabilities to provide the ongoing software support the company may need — now and in years to come.

Next Steps

If you are a web hoster or datacenter provider who would like to learn more about how Dropsuite can backup your client’s servers, websites and emails, please contact us. Our knowledgeable sales associates are here to help.