KEO International Consultants
Headquartered in Kuwait and with offices throughout the Middle East, KEO International Consultants provides planning, design, engineering and project management solutions for all industry sectors.
Each KEO project has 10 to 15 architects using architecture and engineering software such as Revit and AutoCAD. Project files are shared within an office and are also shared across KEO locations. Project data is either live in production or completed and destined for an archive, with seventy per cent of all data backed up daily.
This data represents years of architectural and engineering effort and legal and regulatory compliance, and KEO must protect these invaluable assets and ensure their availability. Project archives must be preserved for up to 15 years following delivery, an important cost and operations factor to consider.
As part of a continuous optimisation philosophy at KEO, technical director Thomas George and senior system administrator Arun Mohandas were eyeing a digital transformation that would optimise their operations. They identified benefits from using cloud storage for project workflows and backup or archiving of project data. At the time of the deployment, Microsoft suggested a proprietary cloud gateway that could transfer on-premises data to and from Microsoft Azure. Over 100 terabytes of project files were read by the gateway, encrypted, and transferred to an Azure Cool tier, as the gateway product could not initially access the Azure Archive tier.
The gateway encrypts data to a proprietary format as it is written, and any backups that need to be restored must then be decrypted by the gateway, locking the data to that vendor. This creates an undesirable failure point, dependency, and adds recurring costs. Transfer times from on-premises to the Azure Cool tier through this gateway were long and restores could not be completed on time. The proprietary gateway negatively impacted productivity and usability, and a new approach had to be found.
In consultation with Microsoft, KEO selected Tiger Bridge for its cloud workflows. A software-only cloud connector, Tiger Bridge securely and transparently transfers data to any Azure tier including Archive. Data in transit is encrypted and files are stored in their native formats so they are always legible. Azure storage provides the resiliency and data security required for storing KEO’s critical data without third party encryption.
All KEO offices run Tiger Bridge instances that transfer data to Azure storage accounts including the Azure Archive tier. Files are easily shared across office locations, which increases KEO’s agility and its flexibility to assign projects to available capacity.
This article was originally published in the Summer 2020 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.
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