Council uses continuous data protection to protect sensitive files

A local authority is improving upon its data management initiative by introducing continuous data protection to its environment. Learn why they chose CDP over data snapshots.

Brighton & Hove City Council is introducing continuous data protection (CDP) technology to protect sensitive social services-related files as part of a wider move toward implementing a common data management platform.

The local authority began its two-year data management initiative approximately 12 months ago. It's in the process of overhauling its data classification and retention policies, as well as introducing CommVault's suite of products to undertake functions ranging from backup and data archiving to data deduplication, and this includes CDP to safeguard critical services.

"We wanted to look at data management in a more holistic sense as we didn't want to end up buying four or five point solutions," said Phil O'Neill, the council's head of ICT service delivery. "Through that process we found CDP."

In anticipation of the deployment, which is due to take place in the second quarter of next year, Brighton & Hove City Council has already consolidated a range of Novell-based servers formerly located at remote social care offices into two Windows-based machines: one based at its main data centre and the other at its disaster recovery (DT) site two miles away. Data isn't stored locally on social workers' PCs or laptops because of the security implications should they be lost or stolen.

"If a social worker does a care assessment, they're likely to write it in Word and the good thing about CDP is that it protects unstructured business-critical information," O'Neill said. "This data has to be available pretty much all of the time to help decision making. So, if something goes wrong and there's a court case in an hour's time, for example, it's possible to recover the necessary information in a more granular way than if we were using snapshotting."

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