Dan Shoubridge
System Architect, BTC Solutions
«We rely on Bacula Systems to help us, as part of our disaster recovery solution, to protect our customers and our business-critical information»

About BTC Solutions and AutoVHC

BTC Solutions provides autoVHC® to the automotive industry – a fully computerized Vehicle Health Check System, and a new process solution to address one of the biggest performance shortfall areas that exist in the after-sales arena.

Established in 1989, BTC provides bespoke sales training and consultancy packages for car manufacturers and dealerships. It’s impressive list of clients includes Peugeot, Citroen, Mazda, Ford and Vauxhall.

BTC Solutions’ mission-critical database receives around one million hits per day from around 5000 people, and with its cutting edge technology, autoVHC recently won the Institute of Transport Management’s ‘Innovation in Automotive Management 2009’ award.

More information at

The Challenge:

AutoVHC needed to back up files to an off-site server. Particularly important was the requirement to find a backup solution with the ability to do PostgreSQL database dumps on an hourly basis, and from a cluster of databases. Files uploaded by autoVHC’s clients, and files related to its products such as code, logs and configuration files were also critical to autoVHC’s specification sheet.

The initial full backup requirement was for about 50Gb of data. 22 servers consisting of a mix of different operating systems (12 Ubuntu-Hardy, 7 Win2005, and 3 Win2008) needed to be backed up. Two of the machines were FTP servers which needed to receive around 1000 (small) files per day between them. The main jobs needed to back up daily, with database dump backup running hourly. Daily incremental backup capacity needed was about 1 to 2Gb per day.

The Solution:

A variety of backup solutions were considered, especially Bacula, Amanda and Backup Exec. Said Shoubridge: “eventually, Bacula was decided upon, due to its price/performance value, its’ multi-platform capabilities, it’s speed, and its’ flexibility for different configurations”.

From start to finish, the entire process to select and implement Bacula took three months. However, final production set-up only took about two days for the full configuration.

The Result:

autoVHC Relies on Bacula Backup and Data Recovery. With faster performance than other solutions, autoVHC ‘s Bacula deployment takes just over an hour to backup 50Gb, running one job at a time, with nightly incremental backups taking just ten minutes. The solution architecture includes having the Bacula Storage Daemon located on an off-site server. “This was a terrific improvement in backup time over our previous backup solution” remarked Shoubridge.

“Bacula represented the best value for money, and that includes a full support contract from Bacula Systems” said Shoubridge. “The improved performance we have gained, while at the same time realizing a fifty percent saving over other solutions, means we can deploy remaining resources to other projects to better serve our customers”.

And the main advantage of having switched to Bacula Enterprise? “Reliability“, said Shoubridge.