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Cambridge Shears Data Back-up Time by Two-Thirds

A Cambridge University research lab has cut the time it took to back up more than 23 terabytes of data from seven days to two, as part of an overhaul of its storage area network.

The university's Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) installed software from Bakbone Software to automate administrative tasks required in the back-up process, Computerweekly (UK) reported.

The amount of data JDRF processed had risen by 3 terabytes in three years. Consequently, the time required to back up that data increased to the point that some jobs had to be postponed, putting source data at risk.

"If we did not address the deteriorating quality of our storage setup as soon as we did, we would have been unable to continue research--it is as simple as that," Systems Manager Vin Everett told Computerweekly.

JDRF spent two months testing the software to ensure it could handle the large volumes of data. According to Everett, the upgrade could only be attempted once because of JDRF's limited budget. Stress-testing the application beforehand was therefore essential to limiting revision costs.

"If this installation went wrong, and we had to fix something later on, it would have eaten into the main research budget and compromised the quality of work we carry out here," said Everett.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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