Storage Experts Speed Up

By Brian Fonseca  |  Posted 2005-05-23 Print this article Print

Mary Kays Backup"> "As an expert in storage, we can prove our value to our clients. Weve probably seen their configurations in the past and know what works and what doesnt work," Coupland said. "Our value is really understanding storage because we probably have done it before, and we can share our experience with customers and earn credibility and prove ourselves."

"In Mary Kays situation, they were still running Veritas NetBackup 4.5, while [NetBackup] 5.1 has advanced features that make disk-to-disk-to-tape easier. Sepaton was a perfect fit because it allowed them to do disk-to-disk-to-tape much easier than 4.5," said Coupland.

Mary Kay has since upgraded to NetBackup Version 5.1. "[Sepatons S2100-ES VTL] is going to allow them to do backup to tape during the day, as opposed to trying to rush and get it at all done at night. This allows them to get it done much faster."

Before the Sepaton installation, Czuwala said that his LTO drives could squeeze anywhere from 15MB per second, if the data was completely compressed, to 45MB per second. After the deployment, he can archive data at speeds up to 120MB per second.

"In the end, tape only moves at so many linear feet per second—thats a mechanical limitation. It turns out that by using a virtual tape drive, its just capable of doing much faster rates," said Czuwala. "If backups are three times as fast, now you dont occupy as much time in that maintenance window to do the backup. Some people make a conscious decision and say, I cant afford an 8-hour window, so Im not doing that backup."

Adexis already had a relationship with Mary Kays IT systems group. Sepatons VTL system also won over Mary Kay with its ability to perform image duplication. That process involves multiplexing, in which administrators take multiple backups and write them together to the same tape drive to fragment the backup.

According to Czuwala, multiplexing to off-site copying has become exponentially easier with the increased backups because he no longer has to wait for each tape to spool or read through the data.

"Doing multiplexing to off-site copy, the tape can only read at so much per second," Czuwala said. "What I found on Sepaton was that we may write backup at 80 or 90MB per second, but well do go-through at 120 [MB per second] at image duplication and write that onto tape, so its just a much better use of tape drives right now."

Mary Kay runs its primary storage backups on the Sepaton VTL. Its secondary storage backup is performed on the existing Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) L700 tape library featuring 10 LTO drives. Czuwala said that eventually Mary Kay would like to run its primary backup to Sepaton and then turn around and duplicate that to on-site and off-site tape copy operations, leaving the backup image to then expire on Sepaton.

For areas hed like to see Sepaton improve upon with its technology, Czuwala said that hardware compression routines are needed to maximize storage capacity configurations.

According to Mike Worhach, president and CEO of Sepaton, the company is developing new content-based compression technology as well as Synthetic Full Backup and remote site backup.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.

Brian Fonseca is a senior writer at eWEEK who covers database, data management and storage management software, as well as storage hardware. He works out of eWEEK's Woburn, Mass., office. Prior to joining eWEEK, Brian spent four years at InfoWorld as the publication's security reporter. He also covered services, and systems management. Before becoming an IT journalist, Brian worked as a beat reporter for The Herald News in Fall River, Mass., and cut his teeth in the news business as a sports and news producer for Channel 12-WPRI/Fox 64-WNAC in Providence, RI. Brian holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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