Sunday, 24th January 2021

Curing backup ailments

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has taken the health and wellbeing of its Microsoft 365 data to the next level by enlisting CloudCover 365 to securely back up and protect its vital Microsoft 365 services across its entire IT system.

Founded in 1518 by a Royal Charter from King Henry VIII, the RCP is dedicated to improving the practice of medicine and represents more than 39,000 doctors worldwide, as well as hosting a vast library of medical texts. It is also home to the National Guideline Centre (NGC), which develops guidelines and care standards within the NHS for healthcare professionals, patients and carers.


The vast organisation is home to approximately 150 servers, that power more than 650 desktop computers and other devices, across a wide geographical area. The exploration into CloudCover 365 was sparked when the RCP began migrating to Microsoft 365’s mailbox services, which in turn resulted in the increased use of other aspects of Microsoft 365, including SharePoint, Teams and OneDrive.

However, as the RCP became more reliant on Microsoft 365, the IT team were increasingly concerned with how the system was being backed up, which resulted in them exploring additional safeguards. They approached Leeds based cloud computing and disaster recovery specialist, virtualDCS, which is a Veeam Gold Partner, and already provides the RCP with its Cloud Connect backup service.

It was immediately obvious that virtualDCS’ recently launched CloudCover 365 service, powered by Veeam technology, would be a perfect fit. The product incorporates data storage technology from Zadara and is now the world’s only Veeam powered self-service Microsoft 365 portal, meaning individual end users can view and restore their data, without specialist IT support.

Jim Anstiss, IT operations technical manager at the RCP, said: “Over the last 18 months we’ve become increasingly dependent on Microsoft 365 and the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this further as lots of our teams and users started working remotely.

“This meant having a first-rate backup system was more important than ever. We looked at various options and specifically focussed on Veeam based solutions, the gold standard for backup and disaster recovery systems. After trialling CloudCover 365, we were in no doubt it was the right product for us. We particularly liked the straightforward setup and found the interface easy to use.”

Jim added: “It also gives us confidence that CloudCover 365 is produced by virtualDCS. The company also provides our Veeam Cloud Connect solution, which we wouldn’t be without after we saw its intrinsic value when we needed to carry out a major restore, following a scheduled power outage across our entire system one weekend. After carrying out maintenance work, we powered up the system and were alerted to the fact that 70TB of data was no longer accessible, which could have had catastrophic consequences for our organisation.

“Their Cloud Connect team worked alongside us overnight on a Sunday and 12 hours later, we had restored 75% of the data in time for Monday morning, with the final parts back up and running by Wednesday, which was a fantastic outcome and this is the level of service and dedication we can expect from all virtualDCS services.”

Andrew Low, from virtualDCS, explained: “CloudCover 365 is increasingly being recognised as the go-to backup product for Microsoft 365 and we’re now successfully providing it to a vast range of organisations across the public and private sectors. These include well-known high-street retailers, national charities, further education colleges and oil companies as well as all types of SMEs.

“As well as offering a premium product with high levels of functionality that is fully hosted and serviced in the UK, our ability to tailor CloudCover 365 to each individual client, so it specifically meets the requirements of their infrastructure and pain points, gives us a very compelling offering.”

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