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Oxford U Loads PHD Software for VMware Protection

Oxford University has gone public with its implementation of esXpress from PHD Virtual Technologies to provide backup and recovery for its VMware environment. The university's Network Systems Management Services (NSMS) group uses the software to protect a VMware virtualization environment that includes 14 ESX servers and a single-site ESX cluster with 10 blades.

This virtual environment serves as the central computing center for the entire Oxford University system including support for student records, university e-mail services, Web servers, content management systems, and university databases.

"esXpress is a reliable, easy to use backup solution that fits seamlessly into our VMware environment," said Jon Hutchings, senior system administrator. "It has saved us a tremendous amount of time and money by using the power of our virtual machines to protect themselves. Now, we no longer need to spend hours locating backup tapes like we did with our previous tape backup solution. Backups are performed seamlessly to disk, making restores faster and much more reliable."

esXpress features deduplication across an entire ESX farm, multi-user file level restore for both Linux and Windows, up to 16 concurrent backup streams per ESX host, incremental replication, multi-user deployment and configuration for the console, and a self-extracting backup archive for self restores that don't require software.

The virtual infrastructure, which was assembled in summer 2008, consolidates servers from multiple university groups, including Business Services and Projects, the ICT support team, and library services. NSMS "rents" server access to university units and performs management of the VMware environment.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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