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Case Study - Challs

Challs, manufacturer of leading household brands, knows the importance of robust backup strategy following a fire.

Founded in 1990, Suffolk-based Challs has been developing household cleaning products, like Buster plug unblocker, for more than 25 years and now sells them around the world. The business has gone from strength to strength but a fire at one of its manufacturing facilities nearly lost a trove of business data.

"We were backing up our data to tape and taking the tapes off-site," explains Marlini Finney, finance director for Challs. "However, following the fire, only then did we realise that the tape drive was not backing up correctly. We were very lucky that a specialist data recovery company was able to retrieve much of our data from the fire damaged server."


Business growth has seen Challs move to new buildings and take on new staff. The company decided to further increase its level of IT provision with improved internal and cloud-based resources for its business teams in Hadleigh, Suffolk and around the world.

"In addition to fast restores, we wanted the peace-of-mind that a multi-tier backup approach offers, knowing that multiples copies of our data is securely held both on and off-site," adds Marlini.

A recent ransomware attack further underlined the need for a robust backup solution.


Following consultation with Challs as its new IT support supplier, Strident upgraded the company's suite of three servers. These provide applications and data to the business teams in the UK and allow international colleagues to access Challs' systems remotely. Challs also moved away from a hosted Exchange server for their email to Office 365.

A comprehensive backup strategy was an essential component. Challs now uses a mirror backup using Veeam backup and replication software to create a consistent image of all of its server applications and data. This is complemented by an online backup that provides an off-site data backup for disaster recovery.


Challs increased IT provision and enhanced backup has provided a strong platform for future growth. Veeam backup ensures Challs can successfully recover business-critical applications and services, and allows for application-specific restore scenarios as well as rolling back to specific historical backup points. This allows corrupted data to be replaced with data from a known safe point.

"Backups can only be properly tested by taking the time to fully restore data," insists Marlini. "I sleep better at night knowing that we have a solid and proven multi-level backup system that allows for fast local restores and off-site security."

As well as increased capacity and better device support for colleagues using tablets and phones, cloud-based Office 365 is supported by Microsoft's enterprise-grade reliability and keeps the company's email off-site for security and flexibility. "Office 365 has also allowed colleagues at Challs to share information more easily." adds Marlini.