"Disk-to-disk-to-tape takes 80% off back-up times"
IT & Network Infrastructure Best of British Highly Commended Premier Farnell Weir Strachan & Henshaw Disk-to-disk-to-tape takes Cut IT management time 80% off back-up times from months to days C M ritical data back-up times reduced by 80%, greatly enhanced OD engineering supplier Weir Strachan & Henshaw was data protection, much faster disaster recovery times and bet- highly commended for its use of Computer Associates’ ter business continuity protection earned electronic and Unicenter, which cut software installation and project industrial products firm Premier Farnell a ‘Highly Commended’ management times from months to just days. CA’s suite now covers award from our independent panel of judges. IT asset management, remote control and software delivery, desk- The improvements came after implementing new disk-to-disk- top DNA and service desk across WSH’s 500 employees. to-tape technology. The company had been running short of stor- IT manager Glyn Barnett reckons it’s enabling his team to deliv- age capacity on its 200-plus servers, but also needed to cut disaster er better business value. “Before we implemented CA’s technology, recovery times so that it could restore critical data systems within we spent as much as an hour and a half on each desktop rolling out four hours. new software or program upgrades. Multiply this by the hundreds Premier Farnell looked to its existing storage supplier StorageTek of PCs we have, and that’s a lot of man-hours. Since moving to CA’s (now Sun Microsystems) for a solution, and implemented a Stor- Unicenter, we completed our latest software installation programme ageTek L700e Tape Library to handle its data expansion, along with over the course of two evenings.” a BladeStore B220 disk array for disk-to-disk-to-tape backup and Working with CA, he says, also keeps the costs of maintaining restore. Disk-to-disk-to-tape technology was selected to deal with the and supporting the IT under control – including handling the performance problems associated with back-up and restore of large increasing diversity of IT, which has implications for skill sets and numbers of servers over IP networks. Data from multiple servers is third party support contracts. And there are flexibility, security and backed up in parallel to disk and then transferred en mass to tape service level implications. over the company’s SAN (storage area network). Indeed, the quickest return, he says, has been from remote con- Tape interleaving – normally required to combine slow IP net- trol. “We can solve users’ problems far more quickly, and still pro- work streams to store data onto high speed tape drives, but also a vide the personal touch, while principal cause of slow restore times – is thus eliminated. Instead, also taking them through edu- disk is used to perform restores of small files very quickly, while tape cation and training and so on… reduces storage costs for point-in-time backup data, and to provide We can also automate some fastest streaming performance during full system restores. processes: for example, if For Premier Farnell, it’s working well, and data movement has there’s no Acrobat reader then also been automated using Veritas NetBackup 5. The company says the system can kick off remote that, with the upgrades and an offsite back-up vault and recovery deployment.” site, business continuity protection has been significantly improved. As for CA’s remote deploy- By upgrading its existing IT infrastructure, Premier Farnell is also ment tools, he says there are now in a position to support increasing service and application similar advantages. “They’ll let you do a big bang major upgrade, demands. With backup windows reduced by more than 50%, it is rather than suffer weeks of roll-out interruption, because every- now meeting its daily backup service levels, while the storage thing’s already fully tested and standardised. For example, with a upgrade has overcome the earlier limitations. new version of CAD or Office you can be sure it’s going to work.” Anthony Downes, computer operations controller: “Before the Incidentally, it’s also worth noting two more points. First, Bar- upgrade, we were faced with the challenge of the volume of our data nett’s assertion that tighter control over the organisation’s IT is also growing faster than our storage productivity could manage… The helping with the firm’s drive towards ISO-IEC17799 certification. solution has helped Premier Farnell improve storage utilisation by But second, CA’s desktop DNA manage- provisioning storage just in time. This allows us to avoid the costs ment means that the company has been Key Benefits associated with storage resources that sit able to set up flexible working, with PC idle till they are needed.” Key Benefits settings, data and also preferences I Cut software It’s also worth noting that the Stor- all transferable. installation times from ageTek BladeStore B220 disk subsystem I Critical data back-up The ability to preserve, transfer and months to days provides a cost effective disk solution times reduced by 80% manage DNA also makes it relatively I IT team delivers based on serial ATA technology, with the I Enhanced data easy to manage the total cost of IT better business value benefits of Fibre Channel SAN connec- protection provided ownership and to maximise invest- I Improved flexibility, tivity and streaming performance for I Much faster disaster ments in new systems, hardware and security and customer backup and restore applications. I recovery times other technology assets. I service levels I Better business I Helps with ISO- Enter 530 at continuity protection Enter 540 at IEC17799 certification www.mcsolutions.co.uk/enquiry www.mcsolutions.co.uk/enquiry Manufacturing Computer Solutions • September 2006 • www.mcsolutions.co.uk 41