Founded in 2003 in Springfield, Ohio, Upward is an integrated full-service marketing agency. The agency has experienced rapid growth throughout the years and now employs more than 70 employees across 7 offices located throughout the United States and Europe. As the company grew, so did its storage and file sharing needs. But like most agencies of its type, the knowledge and skillsets of its employees and founders reside around a wide range of marketing specialties, not IT. As a result, these needs were largely neglected, leaving thousands of large, high-value design files sitting on the laptops of individual employees with no way to protect them against catastrophic loss from a disk failure, theft, or misplacement.
Upward’s storage needs had grown to more than 30 TB, yet there was no formal storage solution in place. In addition, designers often needed to collaborate with their colleagues in other offices which was complicated by the inability to effectively share 2 GB files across antiquated vehicles such as email.
Several years ago, the company inherited an old web-based Mac fileserver from an acquisition. “ It worked well for the employees in the local office,” says Chris Haag, Development Team Manager at Upward. “ But the problem was that all remote designers had to get somebody in the local office to send it to them so they could work on it, and then when they were finished the person in the local office would have to put it back on the server. The process was manual, time- consuming, and wasn’t always done correctly – and sometimes it wasn’t completed at all.” In addition, the fileserver was yet another piece of hardware that needed to be managed, creating another pain point for the already IT-strapped organization.
Then in 2017, Chris bought a QNAP system which he hoped would finally solve these challenges. “It worked, but it required 10 to 20 hours per week of my time to keep it up and running,” says Chris. “It actually cost me more time, rather than saving it. Before I knew it, I had become the IT guy; I no longer had time to do my real job at the agency.” Chris also learned that while the QNAP was good for backing up to the cloud from a single location, but it could not handle Upward’s multiple offices.
The time had come to find a permanent solution.
Morro Data enables effortless file sharing across multiple offices and protects business-critical data
After an extensive search, Chris found Morro Cloud NAS. Cloud NAS behaves as a global file server accessible by all locations, offering a unified view of an organization’s files, real-time updates, and application-level file locking across sites. Cloud NAS provided the solution Upward needed to effectively manage its storage and file sharing needs at a price that fit within its budget. Chris initially set up a 45 day trial of Cloud NAS at two locations to test with a couple of key people in the office. “They set them up in their homes to test the remote file sharing capabilities,” says Chris. “The file modification was instantaneous, so we knew we were on to something.”
Morro Data’s hybrid cloud file server approach was a huge differentiator for Upward, allowing them to effortlessly sync their files from multiple offices, eliminating the time and complexity of continuously moving files around while ensuring the safety and integrity of their business-critical data.
Based on the overwhelming success of the initial trial, Chris convinced Upward’s management to invest in a third CacheDrive to test transferring and sharing larger files. “Everything worked perfectly,” says Chris.
No More Headaches!
Upward has deployed Cloud NAS to 5 locations and has been ecstatic with the results. “We haven’t experienced a single issue,” says Chris. “Cloud NAS has been rock solid, the interface is extremely easy to use, and the support has been absolutely phenomenal. All of the problems we were experiencing before, including lost or duplicated files, version conflicts, and slow uploads and downloads, have completely disappeared. Morro Cloud NAS handles all of that in the background, so we don’t even have to think about it.”
Upward now has 50TB of its critical data centrally stored in the cloud and business is finally running as efficiently as it should be. Chris particularly appreciates the zero-administration aspect of the Morro solution, enabling Upward to sync and have continuous remote access to all of its data without any of its employees having to do anything. “Before finding Morro, we had tried five or six half-assed solutions that didn’t work,” says Chris. “We were skeptical because we’ve chased this unicorn for a long time. But Morro has worked beautifully. It has saved at least 20 hours a month of my time, plus it eliminated the ‘human file servers’ we had in the local office. In addition to the cost savings and efficiency, morale has improved.”