Jesse Carrillo, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Hines, knows firsthand the challenges involved with this type of enterprise.
is a privately owned real estate firm involved in investment, development and property management worldwide.
The firm's portfolio of projects includes more than 516 million square feet of office, residential, mixed-use, industrial, hotel, medical and sports facilities, as well as large, master-planned communities and land developments.
With 3,300 employees in 111 cities in 18 countries, Hines
is one of the largest real estate organizations in the world, and a leader in sustainable real estate strategies, with extensive experience in LEED®, ENERGY STAR®, BREEAM, Haute Qualité Environnementale and DGNB green building rating systems.
Carrillo is responsible for directing all corporate technology, strategy and standards for Hines worldwide.
team of 31 at the firm's Houston headquarters is responsible for the networks, infrastructure, servers, e-mail system, ERP, enterprise applications and help desk support.
"Spread throughout the world, we have regional IT people responsible for taking care of their geographic area, whether it be computers, servers, new buildings, etc., and helping the end user.
We partner with local IT providers when internal IT staff is not available at some of our locations.
In addition, strong engineering teams take care of the building management systems (BMS), while they contract with local providers for phone systems or voice-over-IP systems."
Managing data over such a large geographic area and with so many sites to cover presents many complex challenges for Carrillo
team: incompatible systems, reliance on multiple vendors with different capabilities and lead times, growing storage requirements (and the correlating increase in cost), missing data from older, unreliable forms of backup and trying to accommodate mobile devices along the way.
"Keeping up with our storage requirements became a very manual process," comments Carrillo
Cost also continued to be a factor: "We started looking at cloud solutions probably two and a half, three years ago," says Carrillo
At a Realcomm conference session last year, Carrillo
heard about RestorePoint
, a company that provides disaster recovery and data protection services utilizing the Asigra cloud backup technology to provide private or hybrid cloud solutions.
"With their solution, we can use normal bandwidth, normal circuits, no special hardware," says Carrillo
"Tiering the cost based on the age or retention requirements definitely helped us get to a price point we felt comfortable with," explains Carrillo
For those on the fence about a cloud-based backup and recovery solution, Carrillo
advises, "If you think you're doing okay with your tape backups and your processes, then I suggest you take a harder look.
is very satisfied with the progress so far and states, "Everything is running smoothly with our first twelve sites.