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Netting Out NetBackup

Realizing OpEx Savings with Symantec Backup Appliances - Part II

Created: 26 Sep 2011 • Updated: 22 Jan 2013
Phil Wandrei's picture
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Symantec backup appliances provide many business value benefits.  In my previous blog, Realizing OpEx Savings with Symantec Backup Appliances,  five (5) areas of  OpEx savings were identified: 

  • Acquisition
  • Installation and integration
  • System administration
  • Upgrades: software and hardware
  • Support/maintenance

And the topic of Acquisition were examined.  The next two areas to examine are Installation/Integration and Administration. 

Installation/Integration

The area with the greatest savings is Installation and Integration.  Depending on your environment, the amount of time it takes to perform the tasks, and if professional services are used, the savings may run into the tens of thousands of dollars. 

An important point to note is the difference between installation and integration.  Installation is the initial receipt of the system through physically racking the system and making power and network connections. Installation is often referred to as “rack and stack”.  Integration is the configuration and optimization, or customization, of the appliance into your environment. 

The differences between installation and integration result in distinct services and are often charged separately by the OEM or consultant(s).  Too often a project is stalled as there is a misunderstanding of what services were purchased, what is included in the service,  or who is responsible for delivering specific tasks. Ask for a description of the services to be performed, or a Statement of Work, to eliminate any confusion. 

The savings from installation and integration are from having a single appliance and not having to build it yourself.  With a pre-configured, fully integrated, and performance optimized backup appliance, it greatly reduces the amount of work for some tasks or activities, and completely eliminates others. 

Installation Tasks

Backup Appliance Impact

Coordinate and manage the delivery of multiple components.

Reduces

Unboxing  the hardware;  server, storage, and components (NIC, HBA, memory, etc)

Reduces

Installing the hardware components

Eliminates

Racking the hardware

Reduces

Installing the Operating System

Eliminates

Installing the backup software

Eliminates

Verifying system readiness (system powers on and  storage is viewable)

Reduces

Installing network cabling

Reduces

Verifying network connectivity

No change

Integration Tasks

Backup Appliance Impact

Configuring the system for servers; media or master

Reduces

Creating and allocating storage

Reduces

Testing the system

Reduces

Optimizing the system for performance

Eliminates

In addition, an appliance greatly reduces risk to a project in the Installation/Integration phase.  Risk comes from the amount of variability due to numerous components, issues of compatibility, and working with multiple vendors.  Symantec backup appliances provide significant benefits as they are a single, fully configured device which can be unboxed, racked, and running in less than an hour and have  proven and known performance out-of-the box.

System Administration

The Operating Expense of System Administration of a build-your-own solution is often the second most expensive area.  This is directly tied to supporting multiple and different components independently; server, OS, backup application, and storage.    

System administration is the daily or weekly operation of the system. 

A simple task such as expanding or allocating additional storage is a couple of mouse clicks on Symantec backup appliance. Compare this to a build-your-own solution which may require three (3) or more user interfaces and multiple steps in each. For example, allocating storage could involve working with separate interfaces for the application, storage, and OS to create and acknowledge additional storage. 

Administration Tasks

Backup Appliance Impact

Adding servers or clients

Reduces

Adding storage – physical

Reduces

Adding storage – logical

Reduces

Reporting

Reduces

Another cost factor for administration is if additional training is required? Having to manage and administer multiple components may require vendor specific product training. Or if additional training is not provided, the tasks themselves may take additional time due to lack of familiarity and having to learn on-the-job. 

Symantec backup appliances provide significant administration savings by providing a single and easy-to-use interface for all backup, deduplication, and replication functions.

The next two areas of OpEx savings; Refresh and Support will be covered in Part III – Realizing OpEx Savings with Symantec Backup Appliances.