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U New Hampshire Consolidates Backup and Recovery Environments

The University of New Hampshire has completed the deployment of a new virtual tape library for data deduplication. The university has installed a Sepaton S2100-ES2 virtual tape library (VTL) and DeltaStor software from Sepaton as a component of a consolidation effort. The university is combining two separate backup and recovery environments into a single newly architected disk-based storage infrastructure.

"Our new VTL solution powered by Sepaton delivers cost savings in several ways," said Bob Rader, storage and backup manager. "For example, it allowed us to eliminate old, inefficient backup devices and tape libraries, along with their costly annual maintenance fees. Because we get better than expected deduplication ratios with DeltaStor, we won't have to add capacity to our new VTL for a full year. Third, we scored big performance gains that enable us to back up three times more data within each backup window as we did with our old tape-based system."

The university has as many as 100 backup clients running on any given night with as many as 20 backups running concurrently, according to Rader. Much of that consists of Microsoft Exchange data, Oracle databases, and unstructured data such as Unix and Windows file systems. Many of the clients are running Windows, which operates five to 10 times slower than their Linux or Unix clients, he explained. "The Sepaton VTL gives us much more flexibility to run many more concurrent backups while maintaining high performance. While the system can achieve performance rates of 600 megabytes/second/node, our backup environment is only taking advantage of 200 to 250 megabytes/second of that total in order to accommodate the slower performance of our Windows clients. This means we could run quite a few more concurrent backups, if necessary. Our data sets average 1.5 terabytes nightly and 12 terabytes weekly."

The university calculated that it needed to achieve capacity reduction ratios of six to one to meet its return on investment objectives. "We are only using 60 percent of the capacity of the VTL at present with DeltaStor," Rader said. "Our investment worked out even better than we had calculated. We estimate we can use our current hardware without a capacity upgrade and achieve 50 percent more growth out of the same system."

"We have been very pleased with the results of our investment," he added.

The S2100-ES2, outfitted for the university with one processing node (called a Sepaton Replication Engine), contains four disk shelves with 30 terabytes of usable space, along with DeltaStor software. In a statement the company said it took half day to get the system out of the box and into a fully configured unit performing backups. A grid architecture will allow the university to scale to multiple nodes in the future.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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