Case Study: Reading Buses

Complete I.T. help Reading Buses keep their wheels turning

CIT are aware that businesses of all shapes and sizes can be hurt by downtime – and make it a prerogative to keep their clients running.

One of those businesses is Reading Buses which provides a 24/7 service for the inhabitants, workers and visitors of one of the UK’s largest towns. With over 150 buses and over 400 drivers to co-ordinate, the control team face a complicated ‘jigsaw’ of routes and rotas which they need to put together. Staff use sophisticated, industry-specific software to plan who drives where and when.

Plus, every single mile of operation needs to be accounted for and reported to the Traffic Commissioner for auditing. Any errors can result in fines or worse. With Datto, there’s no risk of a file disappearing due to accidental deletion.

Reading Buses works as proactively as they can, so rotas are created well in advance. Nevertheless, even a few hours of downtime would cause a knock-on effect which would seriously cost them and affect the SLAs they have with their partners.

Reading Buses logo
Reading Buses

One consistent bump in the road has been ransomware. Although Reading Buses has anti-virus, the hackers are often ahead of the game and know how to worm their way through and Reading Buses can’t disregard emails from unknown senders as they receive many enquiries from their customers and suppliers.

Therefore, CIT proposed Datto, which uses hybrid cloud technology. This duplicates Reading Buses’ data to both the Datto Cloud and an on-site device every fifteen minutes. Plus, Datto only backs up what’s changed (a technology called ‘Inverse Chain’) so there’s no strain on their connection.

Datto proved its worth last year when a ransomware strain called ‘Locky’ threatened to put the brakes on operations. Arriving as an email attachment, Locky quickly encrypted not only the user’s machine but also all shared locations that the user had access to. With Datto, it was easy for CIT to locate the infected files, delete them and restore the files from the backup without affecting Reading Buses.

“Our customers aren’t affected, we don’t lose revenue, and our reputation is safe.

Datto restores systems and data very quickly and also eradicates the need for any ‘running around retrieving backup tapes’ too.”

– Mark Price, Reading Buses’ IT Manager

Initially, only their critical systems – which included scheduling applications – were backed up by Datto but Mark saw the benefit of a consolidated system.

“We wanted to upgrade and bring all of our backup technologies into one.”

Reading Buses upgraded their device to a Datto SIRIS 3 6000 – which offers 3TB of local storage. Now, all aspects of the business, such as vehicle maintenance and payroll, are safe.

And a Disaster Recovery Plan isn’t a plan until it’s been tested and proven. That’s why Complete I.T. and Reading Buses run a full DR test every six months.

“For us, a key factor is the speed of recovery. We know that if there was a major disaster, like a fire, it would take 48 hours to replace our hardware. Datto means we don’t have to worry about that.”

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