We use Zadara as a multi-tenanted experience and it is key to us that we have dedicated resources for each tenant because it maintains a consistent level of performance, regardless of how it scales.
The fact that Zadara provides drive options such as SSD and NL-SAS, as well as SSD Cache, is very important because we need that kind of performance in our recovery environments. For example, when the system is used in anger by a customer, it's critical that it's able to perform there and then. This is a key point for us.
At the moment, we don't use the NFS or CIFS protocols. We are, however, big users of iSCSI and Object, and the ability to just have one single solution that covers all of those areas was important to us. I expect that we will be using NFS and CIFS in the future, but that wasn't a day-one priority for us.
The importance of multi-protocol support stems from the fact that historically, we've had to buy different products to support specific use cases. This meant purchasing equipment from different vendors to support different storage workloads, such as Object or File or Block protocols. Having everything all in one was very attractive to us and furthermore, as we retired old equipment, it can all go onto one central platform.
Another important point is that having a single vendor means it's a lot easier for us to support. Our engineers only need to have experience on one storage platform, rather than the three or four that we've previously had to have.
It is important to us that Zadara integrates with all of the public cloud providers, as well as private clouds because what we're starting to see now, especially in the DR business, is the adoption of hybrid working from our customers. As they move into the cloud, they want to utilize our services in the same way. Because Zadara works exactly the same way in a public cloud as it does on-premises, it's a seamless move for us. We don't have to do anything clever or look at alternative products to support it.
It is important to us that this solution can be configured for on-premises, co-location, and cloud environments because it provides us with a seamless experience. It is really helpful that we have one solution that stretches across on-premises, hybrid, and public cloud systems that looks and works the same.
An example of how Zadara has benefited our company is that during the lockdown due to the global pandemic, we've had a big surge in demand for our products. The ability of Zadara to ramp up quickly and expand the system seamlessly has been a key selling point for us, and it's somewhat fueled our growth. As our customer take-up has grown, Zadara's been the backbone in helping us to cope with that increased demand and that increased capacity.
It's been really easy to do, as well. They've been really easy to work with, and we've substantially increased our usage of Zadara. Even though we've only been using it for just about five months, in that time, we've deployed four Zadara systems across four different data centers. Their servicing capacity has been available within about four weeks of saying, "Can you do this?" and them saying "Yes, we can."
With respect to our recovery solutions, using Zadara has perhaps doubled the performance of what we had before. A bit of that is because it's a newer technology, and a bit of that is also in the way we can scale the engine workload. When the workload is particularly high, we can upgrade the engine, in-place, to be a higher-performance engine, and then when the workload scales down, we can drop back to a lower-performance one.
That flexibility in the performance of not only being able to take advantage of the latest flash technology but also being able to scale the power of the storage engines, up and down as needed, has been really good for us.
Using Zadara has not at the moment helped to reduce our data center footprint, although I expect that it will do so in the future. In fact, at this point, we've taken up more data center footprint to install Zadara, but within six months we will have removed a lot of the older systems. It takes time to migrate our data but the expectation is that we will probably save between 25% and 30%, compared to our previous footprint.
This solution has had a significant effect on our budgeting. Previously, we would have had to spend money as a capital expense to buy storage. Now, it's an operational expense and I don't need to go and find hundreds of thousands of pounds to buy a new storage system. That's helped tremendously with our budgeting.
Compared to the previous solution, we are expecting a saving of about 40% over five years. When we buy new equipment, our write-down period is five years. So, once we've bought it, it has to earn its keep in that time. Using Zadara has not only saved us money but it will continue to save us money over the five years.
It has saved us in terms of incurring costs because I haven't had to spend the money all upfront, and I'm effectively spreading the cost over the five years. We do see an advantage in that the upfront capital costs are eliminated and overall, we expect between 30% and 40% savings over the lifetime if we'd had to buy the equipment.