Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is a nationally recognized leader in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. The agency manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado’s wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs. CPW also issues hunting and fishing licenses, conducts research to improve wildlife management activities, protects high priority wildlife, and more.
Until recently, CPW operated as two separate agencies – Colorado State Parks and the Division of Wildlife. In 2012, the two agencies were merged to create more efficient and effective services through economies of scale and use of shared resources while creating a more comprehensive outdoor recreation mission for the agency.
The agency depends on two SharePoint 2010-based intranet sites to support collaboration across its 900 full-time employees, volunteers and part-time workers.
- Operates two SharePoint-based intranets, supporting 900 park employees
- Metalogix backup tools provide powerful and granular backup and restore capabilities – reducing manual workarounds, saving time, and providing a much-needed fallback plan
- Solutions deployed: SharePoint Backup
Deon Kuhl is the administrator responsible for managing these converging intranet sites and ensuring a stable and reliable SharePoint experience for CPW’s 900 users. A critical function of this role is the backup and restoration of SharePoint content.
While CPW had an enterprise level backup solution in place, the scope of the backups did not include SharePoint content or provide the level of granularity needed to maintain a highly available environment. Instead, Kuhl’s team developed a manual workaround, creating batch files that took snapshots of SharePoint content on a daily basis.
Although this workaround provided some level of disaster recovery assurance for content files, Kuhl recognized its limitations. “If someone blew away a site collection, we had no fallback except to wait several days for the Service Desk to conduct a system-wide restore, which has obvious consequence for our end users.”
To mitigate this scenario, Kuhl required a “just in case” backup tool that would allow his team to own the entire backup and restore process. A solution that could restore both entire sites and content quickly and efficiently, while avoiding the time-consuming bottlenecks created by enterprise-wide backups –with minimal impact to end users.
For this, CPW turned to Metalogix SharePoint Backup solution.
We needed a granular solution that would allow us to restore either an entire site or just a single file, depending on our needs – as quickly and efficiently as possible,” explained Kuhl. “SharePoint Backup gives us the capability to do just that.
I like to have a one-stop-shop when dealing with a third-party vendor... Based on the reliability we’ve experienced so far, choosing Metalogix to support the growth and increased complexity of our SharePoint environment made good business sense. It also saved me shopping around for individual solutions.
“We needed a granular solution that would allow us to restore either an entire site or just a single file, depending on our needs – as quickly and efficiently as possible,” explained Kuhl. “SharePoint Backup gives us the capability to do just that.”
SharePoint Backup is purpose-built for SharePoint environments and lets users:
- Protect entire SharePoint farm and content by capture data tied to content databases, including SQL and RBS data sources, service applications, search data, and farm configuration – via a single, easy-to-manage process
- Reduce storage costs with automated compression and encryption
- Self-service recovery for end users
- Take advantage of important supplementary backup capabilities, from full farm recoveries to granularly restoring individual files, while allowing the enterprise backup team to use the tool it considers best.
Since implementing SharePoint Backup, CPW has realized significant benefits:
- Simplified Backups – With SharePoint Backup, the need for scripting batch files has been eliminated, and the savings are impressive. “Before SharePoint Backup, I was coming in every morning and checking to see if the batch files had worked or failed. Now I don’t need to worry about spending an hour or so troubleshooting, I just schedule my backups based on how often critical information changes, and restore the data as quickly as it was backed up.”
- No More Restore Bottlenecks – Empowered by Metalogix tools, the backup and restore process is now in the hands of those who own the content: “I no longer have to schedule restores with the Service Desk and wait for it to be taken care of. We can handle the restore ourselves with no disruption to end users,” said Kuhl.
- Ease-of-Use – With its intuitive interface, SharePoint Backup adds a new layer of convenience to mission-critical backups. “In a few clicks I can quickly initiate a restore, whether it’s an entire site or a single file,” said Kuhl.
Kuhl also credited the reliability of the tool as a significant differentiator: “SharePoint Backup works as advertised – first-time. This is a huge deal for me. When you invest in third-party tools you want them to work. I’m sold!”
Change in government is constant. However, in CPW’s case, the impact of change has very real repercussions for its SharePoint environment.
Since the merger of Colorado State Parks and the Division of Wildlife to form Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the agency embarked on a plan to merge its SharePoint intranet sites and create a single uniform tool for employees and volunteers.
To support the SharePoint integration project, CPW plans to leverage Metalogix Content Matrix – a powerful tool for managing SharePoint or Office 365 migrations. In addition, CPW is seeking to optimize SharePoint storage and replace manual-intensive BLOB management processes with Metalogix StoragePoint. StoragePoint enables large SharePoint deployments to perform incredibly fast by shrinking SharePoint databases by up to 98%.
Together, SharePoint Backup, Content Matrix and StoragePoint can deliver faster migrations and faster backups, and lend to the smooth integration of two separate environments.
“I like to have a one-stop-shop when dealing with a third-party vendor,” said Kuhl. “Based on the reliability we’ve experienced so far, choosing Metalogix to support the growth and increased complexity of our SharePoint environment made good business sense. It also saved me shopping around for individual solutions.
For Kuhl, change also presents an opportunity. During the merger, users had been leery of using SharePoint. With two intranets operating side-by-side, many were confused about where to save files and store documents, a problem that hindered collaboration.
“We see Metalogix as a partner who can help us improve the SharePoint experience across CPW and make it a lot more user-friendly.”
Having completed testing of the tool, Kuhl is excited about the benefits that Content Matrix will bring.
“Content Matrix will really work to our advantage as we migrate content. By eliminating redundancy and duplicate content, while retaining the existing navigation that everyone is familiar with, the outcome should be a lot more user- friendly,” said Kuhl.