Center Parcs Case Study

Requirement: SecureVault On-Premise Backup and Infrastructure Managed Services

Award-winning leisure provider Center Parcs required a backup solution that was secure and scalable, as well as an IT partner who could manage its IT infrastructure by following IT best practices.

The Client

Center Parcs has been a market leader in the UK short breaks industry for over 30 years, with each of its 5 villages set in approximately 400 acres of stunning, natural English woodland. Offering more than 200 indoor and outdoor activities across its sites - as well as exceptional bars and restaurants, accommodation and spa facilities – the multi-award-winning company is dedicated to delivering a memorable experience and first-class service for every guest.

Center Parcs is continually growing and evolving as a business, with its first site in Ireland set to open in 2019. However, as it continues to expand the company was finding its existing Arcserve Tape Backup solution was becoming insufficient for its large dataset, as well as increasingly expensive, time-consuming to restore from and inadequate for its future needs. Center Parcs therefore required a robust solution to remove its reliance on tape backup, and that could easily scale as the company continues to grow. Additionally, with its ethos of providing an exceptional experience Center Parcs also wanted to ensure that, should there be an outage in its IT infrastructure, any downtime would be minimal and not impact on its guests. As an existing customer Center Parcs trusted that GCI would recommend a solution that would fit the company’s existing and future requirements.

Technical Solution

Following a review of the existing backup solution, GCI recommended their own backup solution – SecureVault On-Premise, powered by EVault from Carbonite. A best-of-breed backup service, SecureVault On-Premise is a unique hybrid solution designed specifically for large datasets of up to 40TB per data vault, which also reduces Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) associated with backing up to the Cloud. GCI implemented a primary storage node on-site that enabled data to be backed up across the LAN, with the estate made of over 100 servers - a combination of Windows and Linux. Disk-to-disk architecture results in quicker restoration times and data is deduplicated before replication to minimise bandwidth overhead, with changes then transmitted securely across the internet to a second vault. SecureVault encryption is FIPS-approved as certified by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), so Center Parcs could be certain that its data was secured at all times.

For additional protection data is also backed up to the Cloud, where the same easy-to-use portal as used by SecureVault Cloud customers allows recovery of files, folders or even entire machines. As a business where the secure storage of vast amounts of data is imperative, Center Parcs wanted to ensure that data could be accessed quickly and easily when necessary, so GCI ran restore tests before project completion.

In addition to SecureVault On-Premise, GCI also implemented an Infrastructure Managed Service at Center Parcs’ Head Office in Nottinghamshire. This offers round-the-clock end-to-end management and monitoring, proactively keeping the infrastructure healthy to ensure it doesn’t fail. Downtime is minimised as GCI’s technical experts would be on-hand to intervene should anything go wrong. Proactive Watchpoints – a set of scheduled activities designed to help prevent outages or incidents that could impact on service - are also in place to flag any issues for resolution before they have a chance to impact on service, meaning that Center Parcs can be assured of exceptional levels of uptime.

Success and Company Benefits

Center Parcs now has a highly-secure, reliable backup solution for its vast amounts of data, which can be quickly recovered should the company need to do so, with efficient deduplication minimising costs. Thanks to Center Parcs’ storage billed on a fixed price-per-month basis, the company’s costs are also transparent and predictable. Finally, the Infrastructure Managed Service in place for Center Parcs means that the company can deliver services to its customers 24/7, knowing that GCI are removing the operational overhead of core infrastructure management to allow internal Center Parcs’ IT to focus on front-end activities and customer experience. The service is also being rolled out to Center Parcs staff across the parks, ensuring the company can continue to deliver exceptional experiences.

Phil Coe, Head of IT at Center Parcs, said: “We have worked with GCI for a number of years and have always been pleased with the standard of service received. With thousands of customer details, booking information and data stored across our Head Office and 5 villages, we have to ensure that they are kept very secure. To fulfil this requirement, combat our increasing storage costs, bring our backup up-to-date and ensure infrastructure uptime, we had no hesitation in turning to GCI. They recommend and implemented a solution that would meet our needs not only now, but as we expand in the future.”



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