Protecting and Serving the Data of a City

Clumio and the City of Davenport Transform Backup


As the CIO and CTO of Davenport, Iowa, Cory Smith leads an IT team that supports a municipality with more than 100,000 residents, 34 facilities, and multiple agencies including police, fire, public works, an airport, and everything in between. His mission is to give the city the best possible service, but he has to be mindful of cost, both in funds and time.

Cory’s primary concern centered around devoting too many resources to data protection and that, in the end, his backup solutions weren’t going to be sufficient if disaster struck. Though his team and his budget are relatively small, he has a lot of critical data to store and protect.

He wasn’t able to find a backup solution that balanced power and capability with simplicity and ease. Until that is, his technology assessments led him to Clumio. Now, with Clumio on the job, worries about spending too much time and money on an ineffective backup strategy are gone. As Cory summarizes the experience, “Clumio is everything you want in a product; powerful, easy and affordable—words not typically associated with backup.”

The Search for the Right Solution

Well before he found Clumio, Cory knew what he wanted in a backup solution:

  • technology that reduced, not increased, complexity
  • systems that could grow with the city’s evolving data sprawl
  • management that didn’t demand a lot of “hands-on”
  • cloud native product

Although backup and recovery were absolutely critical for the City of Davenport, Cory didn’t want to spend a lot of time dealing with it. He just wanted the job taken care of.

Unfortunately, as Cory closely examined the alternatives on the market, he was not impressed. “Most of the existing products that are out there have some kind of cloud-based hook to them, where you pay for an extra service and then you can dump those to your AWS account or whatever. We tried them and found them difficult to configure, clumsy in how they do backups, and some of them require huge amounts of unused backup storage space internally before data can be moved to the cloud.”

These products, even those claiming to be SaaS, failed every metric Cory had set. It was more complex, the systems couldn’t grow, and they each required a lot of hands-on management.

Eventually, the search for an ideal backup solution led him to Clumio, and Cory found what he was looking for. “When we evaluated the Clumio service, it was a no-brainer,” he says. “We did not have to have additional hardware—we could just drop a simple VM in our existing VMware stack and start offloading backups to the public cloud. It was really rather easy, and it was a very easy decision.”

Clumio gives Cory backup management through a single service and therefore he can essentially set it and forget about it. And since Clumio is a service, the Clumio support team handles the diagnosis of any issues.

Saving An Entire City Time and Money

With Clumio, the City of Davenport gets an authentic SaaS for enterprise backup that provides them with predictable costs and removes the worry about infrastructure, because there is no infrastructure. With Clumio, the city consolidated its backup with no hardware or software to size, configure, manage—or even purchase at all.

The predictable costs that come with the Clumio service made the choice an easy one for the City of Davenport. Clumio provides the flexibility of OpEx and the ability to effectively manage budgets through a consumption model.

Even with the added benefits to its data protection strategy, the City of Davenport is spending one-third less on backup infrastructure. They are enjoying additional savings in staff time as a result of easy implementation, no day-to-day management, and proactive problem resolution by Clumio support (72% of cases are open and triaged by Clumio without any action from the customer). With the weight of managing backup lifted, the IT department can be more agile, more strategic and provide more value to the people of Davenport.

“The fact that we can send those backup sets to the cloud, they can sit there for long term archival, at very minimal cost, is a huge aspect for us,” explains Cory. “It’s a huge selling point for the product. And it enables us to focus on more important things than backup. Saving money on IT enables us to do more with less, without sacrificing service.”

Secure Backup

Clumio’s “always-on” security was another critical selling point for Cory. The City of Davenport houses data that needs proper encryption to remain compliant. The city’s police department, for example, generates multiple large data sets of sensitive information. This has to be stored in a manner that is compliant with legal standards for the long term but must also be easily accessible.

The way Clumio manages keys, handles data segmentation, and encrypts data before it ever moves, all contribute to secure, cloud backup. Equally important, Clumio has built end-to end integrity checks into its software to safeguard all data transfers.

The Full Potential of the Cloud

As organizations such as the City of Davenport increasingly turn to the cloud to help them offer cost-effective and high- quality services to their citizens, they are mindful of what the cloud has to offer—its innate ability to scale, its flexible economics, and its inherent elasticity. But, as Cory points out, they are also wary of solutions that claim to be based in the cloud but don’t take full advantage of what the cloud offers.

When it comes to backup and recovery, Cory says that he has found a solution that truly unlocks the full potential of the cloud. “By far I would say that Clumio is the best cloud-based backup strategy I have ever seen—and I’ve looked at all of them. It’s the only one that is truly cloud based. It’s simple to deploy. It’s easy to configure. It’s very low cost. It just works.”

“In a world of very complex systems,” Cory adds, “Clumio is a breath of fresh air.”

Download the case study (PDF)

paper airplane icon