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Indiana Wesleyan U Speeds Backup with Disk-Based System

Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion has gone public with its deployment of storage equipment from Quantum to replace a system using a Dell tape library and Symantec NetBackup version 4.5. The newer setup uses a DXi7500 Express disk-based system with 9 TB of disk space, along with a Quantum Scalar i500 tape library. The university, which has 3,200 resident students at its main campus and 12,000 adult learners at 15 regional centers, sought a replacement when the process for backing up 2 TB of data took longer than a day.

Restore was another challenge, according to Director of Systems Administration Everette Webber. "When we needed to restore a file, we would have to wait for the prior day's backup to be done before starting. It was impossible to tell users with any confidence when they would have their data back."

Before making the purchase decision, Webber conferred with consultants, who convinced him that the university needed a combination of a disk-to-disk solution with deduplication technology and an integrated tape library for archival purposes. The final selection came down to two offerings."We looked at both and were fairly convinced that either one would do what we needed done," Webber said.

Ultimately, Webber went with the Quantum equipment because the company "gave us a great deal, and we ended up with a higher-end system for the same price the competitor would have charged." The university also upgraded to Symantec NetBackup version 6.5.

IT created 40 virtual servers using VMware vSphere for consolidated backup, with 12 virtual servers backing up to the DXi7500 and the remainder backing up to tape. Data that would need to be restored quickly in the event of a disaster, as well as information that is subject to frequent restore requests, is earmarked for the DXi7500, according to Webber. Now the systems admin team backs up a VM image and performs a file-level restore from that image.

The newer equipment also allows the university to back up more data through deduplication. "We had been backing up only a couple of terabytes when we started our evaluation, but now we back up six to seven terabytes a night between the DXi7500 and the Scalar i500," said Webber.

"With our new capabilities, we are backing up things that we couldn't get to before," he added. "We've established unique retention schedules for different types of data, as well as separate policies for what goes on disk or tape."

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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