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Non-Profit Housing Organization Keeps Information Available with Symantec

Posted on Behalf of Nicholas Hibbard, Senior Staff Accountant, Burlington Housing Authority

How many of us wish life had an “Undo” button, when we say something we shouldn’t, or waste a day looking at funny cat pictures on the Internet? It would be useful to have a way to get back something we lost. But this is more than wishful thinking for businesses today, it’s a necessity. When files are lost and can’t be recovered, it can be disastrous. And while IT is often concerned about business data such as intellectual property and financial records, their ultimate goal is to serve people. And one of the most fundamental ways to serve their customers is by protecting their private information, especially when that information includes documents such as rent payment and utility bills. If the organization that gives someone the ability to pay the rent loses any of its information, it could cause problems for a lot of people – unless there’s an Undo button.

The Burlington Housing Authority is an organization that provides safe, affordable housing to citizens in the Burlington, Vermont area. Our 60 employees manage five public housing apartment buildings and manage rental assistance vouchers for more than 1,800 families. We have a lot of documents to keep track of in our systems. We file and search documents, collect payments and manage organizational finances. Our computers even control some door locks, cameras and heating/cooling systems. If we lose a server or even a desktop, it can be a huge problem.

We knew how important it would be to have an effective backup solution installed in case of an outage, as well as desktop security that would keep our information out of the hands of hackers. In order to do that, we decided to turn to Symantec to meet three different needs. We have employed Symantec Backup Exec 2012, Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition and Symantec System Recovery. This multilayer approach gives us confidence in the safety of our systems.

We’ve realized several important benefits by integrating these tools into our data center. By staying current with Symantec, our software just runs in the background. Every night our backups are recorded to LTO tape, and then those tapes are regularly rotated and archived offsite. Our backup process is consistent and reliable, and we’ve always been able to recover the files we need.

Complementing Backup Exec in our data center is Symantec System Recovery, which means that server images are taken every four hours, which are then copied to an off-site disk system. This allows us to be up and running again quickly if disaster happens.

We’re now in the middle of making the transition to virtual servers, and we’re confident that Symantec will continue to meet our needs, to help us keep our information safe and support the needs of our residents. With these backups in place, we no longer have to wish for that Undo button.