The Symantec Information Technology group completed the deployment of the NetBackup PureDisk Remote Office Edition
to servers located in remote offices across EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Asia) in the third quarter of 2007.
The implementation of NetBackup PureDisk Remote Office Edition is part of IT's overall Eating Our Own Cooking (EOOC) program. The EMEA NetBackup PureDisk deployment is part of this program.
Veritas NetBackup PureDisk is used to perform backups of servers located in remote offices eliminating the need to manage tape library hardware and its associated media.
PureDisk offers storage and bandwidth optimized data protection for diverse IT environments. This solution combines data deduplication technology with a highly scalable software-based storage system to provide customers with a flexible and advanced data protection solution.
- Offers secure, disk-based data protection for servers in remote offices, virtual environments, and data centers.
- Centralizes and manages distributed backup data and policies in data centers.
- Reduces total storage required for disk backups by 10-50x (versus tape) with global data deduplication.
- Enables low bandwidth backup and data synchronization over a Wide Area Network (WAN).
NetBackup PureDisk is part of the NetBackup Platform, but does not require NetBackup. In July 2007, the name was shortened to NetBackup PureDisk (from NetBackup PureDisk Remote Office Edition) due to the existing and planned integration with NetBackup 6.0 and NetBackup.
NetBackup PureDisk was deployed to decrease cost and resource constraints. IT annual tape library hardware maintenance costs were in the $60K-$70K range. In addition, IT was making an increasing number of requests on non-IT staff, in remote offices, to assist with the management of tape library hardware; the tape library hardware was identified as the most frequent root cause for backups to fail.
The EMEA Server Operations team identified PureDisk as a good opportunity to optimize the IT environment and proposed the deployment to Eleanor O'Neill, regional IT Senior Director.
Once approved, the deployment took roughly three weeks to implement, after the production environment was built. The initial backup of remote servers took some time to complete, as all of the data on the backup client needs to be copied over the WAN, which is slower than traditional tape backup methods. However, once these were completed, subsequent backups only copy the changes that have occurred on the backup client and this is much faster than traditional tape backup methods.
Darren Morrison and Robert Russell from the EMEA Server Operations team worked on the actual product deployment.
Prior to the actual deployment, an initial pilot ran for three months. While the pilot was underway, backups were run in parallel with existing tape-based backups to ensure data protection requirements were met. We also had to ensure that we would attain high backup success rates without affecting the end-user experience across the WAN.
As with most implementations, we had to go through a bit of a learning curve. There were slight differences between the Linux platform that runs under PureDisk and the platform that we run for production systems, but these were addressed.
As a follow-up to this deployment, we will be doubling up the capacity in our environment and push NetBackup PureDisk to our last four remote file servers—there are around 5TB of disk space that are still being managed with tape backups. We will have no tape-based backups outside of Data Centers in EMEA once these are completed.
"The rollout was relatively smooth without any major issues," said Matthew Warden, who is an IT Operations Manager in EMEA. However, Matthew adds that "we could have saved ourselves quite a bit of time, in the pilot, if we'd partnered more closely with Consulting or Product Engineering, as the team had to work through some issues which were resolved in a subsequent Maintenance Pack. We spent some time on investigative work for something that was already in the process of being resolved."
As a result of implementing NetBackup PureDisk, we have reduced our overall time costs managing backup infrastructure in EMEA from 40 hours a week down to 20 minutes per day.
"This is a real win for us and does not include the time we've given back to the business where we no longer require help in remote sites," said Matthew. "We've cut our tape library hardware maintenance costs from $66K to $8K per year. In addition, we have also eliminated the need for capital reinvestment every three years for hardware replacements (approximately $10K per device, or around $180K over three years). This cost saving came at a price of $15K for server and storage to run PureDisk, so it's a very compelling Return on Investment (ROI) for us."
As will all EOOC deployments, implementing this product in-house also allowed us to systematically report issues to the Product Engineering team arising from a large-scale deployment, and to provide general feedback on functionality and provide enhancement requests.