At over 90 years old, California Coast Credit Union is the longest-serving financial institution in San Diego. With access to over 30,000 ATMs, 26 branch locations, and 200,000 members, Cal Coast boasts more than $3 billion in assets.
Client: California Coast
Industry: Financial Services (banking)
Location: San Diego, CA
NFINIT BaaS with Veeam Cloud Connect
Backup and Recovery Obstacles
Cal Coast’s IT setup includes roughly 40% of storage on premises at their own data center. Failover for that data was spread across two colocation environments – one data center in San Diego and one in Dallas, both operated by the same IT services company. For Cal Coast’s Travis Harrell, Vice President of IT Infrastructure & Operations, the service left much to be desired. Shortly after Harrell began his position at the credit union in June 2019, he assessed the IT systems and started planning for 2020. As part of that process, he identified a few dangerous gaps in data backup. First, the Veeam file repository housing Cal Coast’s data was connected directly to the credit union’s network, leaving them vulnerable to events like a ransomware attack. Second, there were issues with important aspects like data quality and speed, where Harrell only ran into excuses from his provider. A series of incidents pushed Harrell to seek another arrangement.
“We had a couple nightmare situations with backups that were corrupted when we needed to restore them, or they were missing,” he explained. “There were a few instances with some of our big file server backups where we needed to come up with the data and we couldn’t. Thankfully we were able to correct things on our end, but it was a big deal and prompted us to look for other solutions.”
”We had a couple nightmare situations with backups that were corrupted when we needed to restore them, or they were missing.Travis HarrellVice President of IT Infrastructure & Operations
A Turnkey Fix
Harrell and his team were open to all options and shopped around with several different vendors and services. Eventually they settled on NFINIT’s Backup as a Service (BaaS) solution featuring the Veeam Cloud Connect offering. Because Cal Coast was already a Veeam user, the changes from the standpoint of Cal Coast were minimal and smooth. Cal Coast’s existing console could continue to configure and test backups without any new software. As a certified Veeam partner, NFINIT had a new backup and recovery portal system – including file indexing, app-aware processing, and server-specific scheduling – implemented in a matter of weeks at its facilities in San Diego and Phoenix. “It’s a solution that gave us a target to send these backups to that adds a lot of value because it keeps us in the same platform,” said Harrell. “It doesn’t require a significant amount of additional training for staff, and overall, it’s a pretty seamless way to dive in.” What made Harrell and his team choose NFINIT? For one thing, it was the facility and infrastructure itself. Harrell toured NFINIT’s facility and was impressed with the power, cooling, and redundancy on display. For another, it was NFINIT’s engineering expertise.
“When it came to delivering a solution that was well engineered, what we would need for sizing and speed, and at a really clear cost, NFINIT gave us the best option, “explained Harrell. “They paid good attention to our needs and when the solution was presented, it was very clear. I decided that this would be the right ticket.”
NFINIT’s transparency and great reputation with other customers helped, he added. Plus, “NFINIT feels more personal because they’re not quite the big box store that other guys are” and it “doesn’t feel like a pushy sale” with them, he said. “That’s the type of partnership I prefer.” Javier Carreno, NFINIT’s Business Development Manager who has been working with Harrell, describes it this way: “When you look at NFINIT compared with many other service providers, the biggest difference is payroll. With our NOC team and even with our HVAC team and electricians, they’re all permanent employees for us. Most data centers outsource those positions. We don’t have to worry about contractors being pulled to another project. We can handle everything directly, and instantly.”
NFINIT’s location couldn’t be more convenient, with headquarters down the street from Cal Coast’s main offices. “It’s great to have a local partner who can offer that personal touch and has reliable infrastructure,” he said. “It’s nice to meet your partners! I was also able to give some tours of the local NFINIT data center to some of my staff, and they were impressed.” Having a local partner with failover capability outside of the San Diego area – in case of city-wide outages, natural disasters or other events – was important for Harrell. Phoenix is ideal since it’s geographically dispersed enough from San Diego and virtually natural disaster-free.
”But ever since we’ve signed on with NFINIT, I haven’t had any feelings of dread.
After some more time with NFINIT’s BaaS Solution, the Cal Coast team is happy with their decision. “It’s worked out great. The solution has done everything we’ve needed it to do. The speed has been what we needed. We’ve done some restores where necessary and I don’t have any hesitation about our backups being compromised, “said Harrell. For the Cal Coast team, this peace of mind may be the most beneficial result of all. After dealing with the continual dread of failures like missing or partial backups, the Cal Coast IT team can now rest easy. “Those types of disasters used to make me feel uncomfortable and make it harder to sleep at night,” said Harrell. “But ever since we’ve signed on with NFINIT, I haven’t had any feelings of dread because I’ve only heard positives.”
”With NFINIT, the engineers and the sales people really care, and they’re not going to sell you something unless it will work for you. I appreciate that kind of partnership.
A Solid Partnership
A few months later, Harrell wanted to increase his backup footprint with some additional storage. This time he called NFINIT straightaway. “We signed a contract for another 100 terabytes, as an upgrade,” described Harrell. “Because NFINIT did such a good job with our first 100 terabytes, we saw no reason to even consider another option this time. It has been a positive overall experience and we want to stick with that. “For Harrell, NFINIT’s approach to business partnerships plays a huge role in the ongoing success of the relationship. “I prefer a personal approach where someone will really dive in and find a solution together rather than just sell you a product,” he said. “With NFINIT, the engineers and the sales people really care, and they’re not going to sell you something unless it will work for you. I appreciate that kind of partnership.” Learn more about NFINIT BaaS.