Dressbarn Uses AWS and N2WS to Accelerate Its Online Transformation

Executive Summary

A brick-and-mortar retailer for most of its 59 years, Dressbarn recently closed all 650 of its physical stores and transitioned into a 100-percent online retailer. The company selected N2WS Backup & Recovery for AWS to support that transition, improve operations, implement cross-region disaster recovery, and protect its critical workloads.

Improving Backup and Disaster Recovery During a Major Digital Transformation

Dressbarn, founded in 1962, is a US-based retailer of women’s clothing. In 2019, Dressbarn was purchased by Retail Ecommerce Ventures, which aimed to transform Dressbarn into an online-only retailer. The company subsequently closed all 650 of its physical stores and relaunched as an online retailer in 2020. “As a brick-and-mortar retailer, Dressbarn prided itself as a trusted brand with unwavering customer service. In our restart of Dressbarn as a fully online company, we needed to keep to that original promise,” says Robert LeVine, a technology consultant for MySite Group LLC, which is a company that provides services to Retail Ecommerce Ventures and other businesses.

Moving from a long-term focus on physical stores to an ecommerce platform required a major digital transformation. Dressbarn chose Shopify to run its online store and Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its backend systems. As it transitioned into a 100-percent online retailer, Dressbarn needed to ensure excellent data backup and recovery. Dressbarn selected N2W Software (N2WS), an AWS Advanced Technology Partner, to protect its critical data and workloads. “I looked at several backup solutions for AWS, but going with N2WS covers my back. There was no risk involved,” says LeVine. “N2WS backs up everything we use in our AWS account.”

“Using N2WS gives me peace of mind that our data protection needs are taken care of.”

- Robert LeVine, Technology Consultant, MySite Group LLC

Using N2WS on AWS

N2WS Backup & Recovery provides a single dashboard to centralize and automate Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) backup, database backup, and disaster recovery using native snapshot technology. Essentially, using N2WS enables users to put their AWS backup and recovery on autopilot, protecting their critical applications from downtime. “Because we work natively on AWS, we’re able to tap into some AWS magic to meet and exceed customer expectations,” says Ezra Charm, vice president of marketing at N2WS.

LeVine says the fact that N2WS provides a single dashboard was another selling point. His busy schedule leaves him with little time to manage details, so he wanted a comprehensive tool that was easy to manage and could provide him all the critical information he needs with one glance.

Dressbarn is now using N2WS Backup & Recovery for AWS to protect its Amazon EC2 instances. The company was up and running with backups within a couple of days. “Using N2WS gives me peace of mind that our data protection needs are taken care of,”
says LeVine.

N2WS also enabled Dressbarn to implement cross-region and cross-account disaster recovery for encrypted Amazon Aurora, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Redshift instances. Dressbarn has several Amazon Aurora databases, and one of the other solution providers Dressbarn IT leaders considered couldn’t back up those databases. LeVine wanted a comprehensive solution that took care of everything the company had on AWS. With N2WS, Dressbarn doesn’t need to have two solutions running to back up the account—it can accomplish it all with one solution. Going forward, Dressbarn plans to use N2WS for all its related brands.

“For businesses like Dressbarn, it’s not as simple as taking backups and having them stored in another region. Dressbarn IT staff have to know that if something happens, they can click a button and stand everything back up. N2WS is very good at rehydrating and getting workloads running again,” says Charm.

Confidence and Support

Using N2WS Backup & Recovery for AWS saves Dressbarn IT personnel a minimum of 4 hours a week and reduces the need for manual tasks. “My key objectives are to have confidence that our backups are working correctly and to save time. I don’t have to spend more than 2-3 hours a month on this, so N2WS really pays for itself,” says LeVine.

Dressbarn is also constantly trying to increase its stock-keeping unit (SKU) count and customer options, so preventing data loss that could negatively affect the company or its customers is critical.

LeVine says both AWS and N2WS also offer excellent support. “I've always had very knowledgeable people that could answer my questions directly when calling into AWS Support. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case with other cloud providers I’ve used in the past. And N2WS has stayed in contact with me to make sure that if I have any issues or problems or need help with anything,
it’s followed up with.”

Support is a critical component of N2WS’s business. “We wanted to make sure Robert was very comfortable with the product and had confidence in it because when you need to use your backup product, it's never at a nice, relaxed moment,” says Charm. “You want to know that all the buttons do exactly what you think that they're going to do. That’s another thing we help customers with. It's knowing that when things go wrong, you can click the correct button and set it all right again.”

N2WS and AWS are playing key roles in supporting Dressbarn’s shift to ecommerce, which enables the company to protect business critical workloads and incorporate disaster recovery testing into its overall strategy. The company is currently using disaster recovery on some of its backup sets, and testing will be incorporated into its strategy long term. The Dressbarn team also noted that they appreciate the Linux scripts option to back up MySQL databases running in Amazon EC2 in a data-consistent manner.

Going forward, N2WS Backup & Recovery for AWS will scale as the volume of Dressbarn’s business increases. N2WS will also help Dressbarn optimize its AWS environment and data storage strategies as the business grows.

By leveraging AWS to focus on ecommerce and N2WS to scale backup and disaster recovery, Dressbarn is well positioned to provide the excellent service the brand is known for, ensure customer data is fully protected, and excel as a traditional retailer reborn in the digital age.

“Because we work natively on AWS, we’re able to tap into some AWS magic to meet and exceed customer expectations.”

- Ezra Charm, Vice President of Marketing, N2WS


About the Customer

Dressbarn is an online retailer headquartered in Houston, Texas. Started in 1962, Dressbarn has grown into a trusted brand that offers style and size options for all types of women. Dressbarn prides itself on its vast selection, excellent service, and affordable price.

About the Partner

N2WS, based in West Palm Beach, Florida, provides enterprise-class backup and disaster recovery solutions for multiple AWS Cloud services. Used by thousands of customers worldwide, N2WS’s Cloud Protection Manager is a backup solution for Fortune 500 companies, enterprise IT organizations, and managed service providers operating large-scale production environments on AWS.

Published June 2021