Reduce Backup Time And Meet Future Growth Needs
Storage integrator Zzyzx Peripherals reduced a customer's backup time from 3 days to less than 12 hours and is allowing them to meet their future storage growth needs.
ViaSat (Carlsbad, CA) produces advanced digital satellite telecommunications and wireless signal processing systems for commercial and government markets. The company also produces a full line of systems for network access and infrastructure and is building market share in Ka-band satellite systems. Other products include satellite antenna systems, tactical communication radios, network security products, and communication simulators.
While working with the customer, storage integrator Zzyzx Peripherals (San Diego) discovered ViaSat needed to shorten its backup time. "Although ViaSat was using two rack mount autoloaders, each with 10 slots, the backups were taking too long," says Jason Farrow, sales territory manager for Zzyzx. "The company felt they needed better performance and faster drives. It was also taking too much time to manage the system, which took time away from other projects. The customer's backups were taking more than three days to perform, and that was completely unacceptable."
Install A Scalable Solution
Although the customer was considering solutions from IBM and ADIC, Zzyzx felt the Neo 4100 library from Overland Storage would be the best solution. "The customer was interested in an IBM product and the Overland Neo 2000," says Farrow. "But the 4100 is such a scalable solution, we felt it would meet their current needs and also help them meet their future growth needs. The 4100 also has a Library Partitioning option card, which lets customers use mixed media in the machine. Therefore the solution lets them plan for the future and also does not require customers to be tied down to one configuration for several years." The 4100 Zzyzx installed had two LTO (linear tape open) drives and one DLT (digital linear tape) 8000 drive.
Very little integration was involved with the installation. Wayne Snyder, an Overland sales support engineer, went to the customer site to perform the installation. It took Snyder a few hours to install the hardware and another two to three hours to train ViaSat employees on the solution. Snyder said he actually spent more time on training than the installation itself. "The training went well and was worth the effort," he said. "The library will definitely speed up their backups, and the customer was happy with the Library Partitioning option. The customer can integrate two tape formats into the library. That, coupled with the scalability feature, will allow the library to meet their needs for many years." Snyder was thorough with his training, drawing diagrams on a white board to insure users understood the technology. Zzyzx believes the cost to provide this training is insignificant.
Can You See Me Now?
Another feature the customer liked was a blue light located inside the library. "The light allows the user to see what is going on inside the library," says Farrow. "Many libraries do not have that feature. The light allows users to see the robotic arm and the tapes without having to open the library doors. Being able to see the tapes move without opening the door is a small feature, but most customers find it to be very practical."
Another factor that contributed to the sale was the Overland Storage facility itself. ViaSat employees took a tour of the facility and were able to see the 4100 in action. The customer was particularly interested in the Library Partitioning option, and the tour allowed them to see the library operating with both LTO and DLT drives and cartridges inside. The scalable feature also allows the library to be upgraded to a SAN (storage area network) at some point in the future.
ViaSat tracks the time to perform backups on an Excel spreadsheet. Prior to installing the new solution, backups were taking more than 3 days to perform. With the 4100, backup times have been reduced to less than 12 hours. The customer is currently backing up close to 1 TB of data.
Zzyzx is currently pitching a SAN product to the same customer, of which the 4100 would be an integral part. ViaSat is also discussing upgrading the library from SCSI (small computer system interface) to Fibre Channel. "The defense industry is doing very well," says Farrow. "The libraries we sell are a great fit for this industry, and we hope to sell many more solutions into this market."