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Arsenal puts Acronis in defence for analytics cloud backup

Football club is increasingly driven by video and data analysis and opts for cloud backup software-as-a-service and quick restore to any location to replace ad-hoc staff solutions

Arsenal Football Club has teamed up with Acronis to provide backup software with the cloud as a target. The first phase of the club’s new data protection strategy will see nearly 900 matches’ worth of football analysis videos and 8TB of data protected each year.

Arsenal has about 750 users, including coaching staff and players, with most based at the club’s Emirates Stadium as well as at its Colney training ground in Hertfordshire and in offices in China and Singapore.

The club runs core applications typical of a small- to mid-sized organisation, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) – Microsoft Navision – and ticketing, sales and HR software.

But for now, the Acronis deployment will focus on data protection support for Arsenal’s football video and analytics activities.

Christelle Heikkila, IT director, said: “We are more and more data-driven. Things are becoming more scientific and less about experience and judgement. We have a team of data analysts and it is absolutely crucial, as IT director, that it is all underpinned by data security.”

Previously, data had been stored “disparately”, said Heikkila, with videos and data residing on staff laptops and USB drives.

“We needed to resolve that,” she said. “That data is incredibly precious. It’s a key asset and we need to know where it is and how we will retrieve it.”

Arsenal has deployed the Acronis Data Cloud software-as-a-service product, which necessitates running an agent on a local video analysis server. An initial full backup was taken and this is followed by daily incrementals.

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Key benefits centre on the ability to restore content quickly and easily to any location, said Heikkila.

“The advantages in terms of restore compared to tape are very clear,” she said. “We can just access cloud-based content rather than having to have off-site tapes delivered.”

Arsenal’s next deployment phase with Acronis will be to explore its use with other applications, such as Microsoft Office 365.

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