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By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2004-03-22 Print this article Print

After every TopoBird flight, DeLorme must remove the digital imagery stored in the airplanes SCSI data "canisters" to make space for new data. Using NetVault, DeLorme manages removal of the data from the canisters, processing that data on an EMC Corp. Clariion CX600 array and eventually archiving it on a Qualstar Corp. Super-AIT and an Advanced Digital Information Corp. Scalar 100 tape drive.

DeLorme runs incremental backups during the week, as well as full backups on weekends, using its 33-terabyte EMC ATA-based RAID array. Because its data is constantly changing and being updated, the company relies on an archival process to ensure that employees have constant, easy access to the latest information.

All data from TopoBird is archived on the companys Qualstar Super-AIT library to make room on the RAID arrays for new data.

When a municipality requests TopoBird data to use as reference data in its municipal planning, DeLorme can bring archived data online for additional processing. The availability of the data ensures the company can provide its customers with the latest maps.

Currently, if a user needs to access information that has been archived to tape, he or she submits a Web-based form to IT requesting that the data be restored to the EMC array. An IT manager then uses NetVault to manually make room on the array for the archived information and puts the data online. The process, Pedro said, takes about 2 hours.

Pedro added that he is looking at software packages that will let him automate this process. Once data can be moved back onto the array without manual intervention, he said the restore time will be cut to a matter of minutes.

Even though the BakBone software enables DeLorme to save money on expensive storage technologies, Pedro said he still expects that DeLormes storage could quadruple by years end—to anywhere from 100 terabytes to 250 terabytes. Pedro also estimates that hell spend at least half his IT budget this year on storage and storage-related technologies.

"We have the storage requirements of a huge enterprise, but were not a large company, which means we have to be creative with the way we spend our money," Pedro said. "[The] thing is, our data is valuable, and we have to make sure we have access to it at all times."

Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at

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As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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