City of Burbank
City Where Fantasy Thrives Solves Reality of Backup Challenges with Nth Generation and Quantum DXi7500 Express
As home base for companies that are in the business of creating entertainment fantasies, the City of Burbank, California has seen plenty of happy endings. The city’s information technology experts know, however, that the reality of backing up data is that if the job isn’t done right, disaster is the more likely outcome.
When a full backup of the city’s 125-plus servers became impossible overnight on a legacy tape system, Burbank went looking for a better answer. The city turned to Nth Generation, a Southern California based IT solutions provider to review several enterprise class solutions. With Nth’s help, the city chose Quantum’s DXi7500 Express disk-based backup solution with deduplication technology. As a manufacturer-certified Quantum reseller, Nth Generation provided the DXi7500 and worked with Quantum to integrate it into the city’s IT infrastructure.
CONCERNS ABOUT SPEED AND RELIABILITY OF LEGACY TAPE-ONLY SOLUTION
Lucas Suimanjaya, a network support analyst for the City of Burbank, is responsible for backing up the city’s Windows and Linux servers. He describes it as a role that supports the 1,300 employees of the public works, police, fire, recreation and many other departments that provide services to the city’s 110,000 residents.
When Lucas was faced with backing up 4.3 terabytes of data every night using a tape library, he began to worry. Full backups were taking 15 to 24 hours. Switching instead to nightly incremental backups with a weekly full capture of all data simply didn’t save enough time. In addition, the disadvantages of relying completely on tape added to his job’s challenges.
“The biggest problem in dealing with a tape library is that it is a mechanical device,” says Suimanjaya. If a tape gets stuck in the middle of the night, you lose the rest of your backup window.”
In addition, tapes were becoming a costly expense item at about $90 each and Burbank was using approximately 400 tapes per quarter to back up and archive data.
Burbank’s IT department turned to Nth Generation for help. After analyzing the city’s technical and business requirements, Nth offered to create a pilot based on a Quantum solution that was thoroughly pre-tested at Nth’s in-house lab facilities in San Diego. The Quantum-based solution introduced Suimanjaya to deduplication—and after a month of successful use, he was sold on the DXi7500 Express as the best solution for Burbank.
EASY IMPLEMENTATION PUTS DXi7500 EXPRESS TO WORK QUICKLY
Implementation of the new DXi7500 Express backup solution by Nth Generation went smoothly, according to Suimanjaya. It was installed and running within 90 minutes, and Quantum and Nth Generation provided support for fine-tuning the system to meet Burbank’s specific needs.
CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORY
“Quantum and Nth were great in helping us troubleshoot and resolve issues about how we wanted to use the DXi7500 for backup,” says Suimanjaya. Using the new system, Suimanjaya keeps data on site for 90 days, 45 days on the DXi7500 Express and 45 days on the legacy HP tape library, which he uses for temporary storage before moving year-old data to permanent tape archiving.
FASTER BACKUPS AND RESTORES, INCREASED RELIABILITY AND LOWER COSTS
The benefits of deploying the DXi7500 Express have been obvious, according to Suimanjaya. With deduplication reducing data volume by 93 percent, daily backups are fast and easily completed overnight. In addition, he no longer has to worry about restore time and reliability.
“The performance of the system has been great,” says Suimanjaya. “In the past, if someone needed a file that was missing, I had to recall a tape from our remote site, insert it manually in the drive and search for the data. Basically, it could take three or four hours to get the tape and another four or five hours to try to restore the data. Now we can do it within a half-hour.”
Suimanjaya reports that this project has given his internal customers increased confidence in the ability of the IT staff to meet their needs and deliver on service level agreements.
Burbank has also seen the financial benefits of adopting the DXi7500 Express solution. Instead of using 400 tapes per quarter for backup, the city now uses fewer than 30 tapes for archiving, generating savings of more than $3,000 per quarter.
As for service and support, Suimanjaya has been very pleased with the Quantum/Nth Generation partnership.
“Working with Quantum and Nth Generation has been great, and the technical support has been excellent” he says. “I would definitely choose Quantum and Nth again if we were starting over.”