SEP Case Study – City of Fitchburg

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One of the City of Fitchburg IT Department’s essential goals is to ensure the security and reliability of data for all major departments within the city government; including the Fire Department, Police Department, City Clerk, Public Works, Municipal Court, and many more. The City of Fitchburg was using Syncsort backup software to carry out their backup requirements; however, Syncsort had become a burden to manage so the City decided it was time to find a new backup solution.


The challenge of finding a new backup solution seemed like an extensive task that would take both time and money, but the City could no longer rely on their current solution, so they began the process. “[Syncsort] was becoming difficult to use and even more difficult to assure we were getting complete backups every time,” Kevin Wunder, IT Director for the City of Fitchburg, told SEP.

The City needed a new solution that would support their current environment of HP servers; DL 360 & 380, two SANs, a mix of both physical and virtual servers, VMware with four ESX hosts using vCenter, Novell GroupWise, eDirectory, ZENworks, NSS Volumes and SUSE/SLES servers, MS SQL and mySQL Databases; as well as support their intended migration to Microsoft products like Active Directory and SCCM.

Additionally, the IT Department was working with a government budget and, therefore, needed to find a product that would secure their entire environment, allow for expansion, align with city data requirements, eliminate wasted time managing inadequate backup software AND fit their budget.


“We decided to move to SEP sesam at a time when many of the other manufacturers of backup software had already abandoned Novell technologies, whether it was 3 months or 3 years before. The fact that SEP supported our very heterogeneous environment was really the deciding factor for our switch to SEP sesam,” explained Wunder.

“At one point Symantec dropped support for NetWare and that’s when we moved to Syncsort. Between the difficulties of use, the more expensive pricing and the increasing amount of time spent managing Syncsort, another change was needed. I met SEP vendors at Novell BrainShare, which, of course, gave us confidence they supported all of Novell’s products.”


After a meeting with SEP engineers, the City tested SEP sesam in their environment and discovered it fulfilled everything they were looking for in a backup solution: fast backups, minimal time spent managing the software and very quick ROI. SEP sesam backs up the City’s entire environment and enables them to support each department from one central location. With a full backup averaging around 6 hours, Fitchburg is now backing up a significantly higher amount of data in a much smaller window than with any of their previous solutions. “Even though we are backing up more servers than ever before, our backup window is much shorter and the ongoing costs with SEP sesam are half as much,” Wunder told SEP.

Katie Evers, Fitchburg IT Specialist, who often works closely with SEP engineers, told SEP, “I think SEP sesam is great. It’s really easy to use and the [SEP] engineers are great to work with. They really know what they are doing and overall support is really great. The entire installation process was fairly quick and easy.”

Fitchburg also gained a valuable asset by working with SEP as a whole. They were in the process of a significant migration from a mixed environment of physical and virtual machines using Novell products, over to one that is almost entirely virtualized and utilizes Windows Server 2012. When it comes to data management, this process can be tedious and difficult. However, SEP was able to make this process much easier for the City. “SEP is very easy to work with. They were willing to work with us and gave us temporary licenses during our migration and that was huge. That was truly a big deal! We didn’t have to pay for additional licenses that we were only going to use for 3 months. This enabled us to upgrade everything, back up the new servers and still backup the old servers during the transition. In the future, we will be adding some databases and SEP will be covering that expansion as well. I would definitely recommend SEP,” said Wunder.

About City of Fitchburg

The City of Fitchburg is a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin located in Dane County. It is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area and has a population of a little more than 25,500 people. The City of Fitchburg’s IT Department oversees technology for all major government departments within the City, including the Police Department, Fire Department, Public Works, Water & Sewer Utilities, City Clerk, Parks Department, Recycling and many more. One of the IT Department’s primary goals is to ensure the reliability and security of each department’s data.

About SEP Software Corp.

SEP Software Corp. is the premier technology leader providing standardized and high performance backup and disaster recovery solutions for professional IT environments of all sizes. Its flagship product, SEP sesam, delivers seamless solutions to corporations’ backup requirements.

SEP sesam ensures that data security for both virtual and physical environments can be easily and cost-effectively achieved. SEP sesam is the ultimate expression of German engineering and attention to detail. Design and programming originate from our German offices in Weyarn, near Munich, where overall performance and reliability are our utmost concern.

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