by Hamish Barwick

Programmed Group cuts down backup times — 70 per cent reduction

Nov 24, 20113 mins
Cloud ComputingIT Management

Changing over from ageing Symantec software to CommVault Simpana has cut backup times by 70 per cent for Perth-based project services company, Programmed Group.

The Group is made up of six separate companies including Property Services, Facility Management, Integrated Workforce, Total Marine, Construction and KLM Electrical.

Over 70 terabytes of data need to be backed up on a daily basis.

Programmed Group chief information officer, Mike Disbury, who has been with the company for five years, was tasked with replacing the Symantec Executive software as backups were taking more than 24 hours to complete.

“Even with the move, straight backups would take a long time and we got it down to about 12 hours,” he said.

“We starting backing up to disk on a storage area network [SAN] and then transferring from the disk to tape. It was a two phase process which improved the backup window.”

The switchover to Simpana took place last year, with the company reporting a 70 per cent reduction in backup time.

“Within the Integrated Workforce division, if the systems are down for more than five minutes they start losing money,” he said.

“Using this software means we can ensure that any of the business groups can recover two weeks of data directly from disk and a month’s worth of data from tape,” he said.

Turning to virtualization, the company has 230 physical servers with 50 now virtualized. While Disbury has plans to achieve 50 per cent virtualization of the servers, he did not want to move to 100 per cent virtualization, admitting that he was a “bit of a sceptic” when it came to the perceived cost saving benefits.

“If I’ve already got the physical hardware and the equipment, virtualizing is going to cost me money,” he said.

“When existing equipment comes to end of life that’s fine but I can’t see the point of rushing head long into virtualization for the sake of it.”

In addition to server virtualization, the company has also shifted some services such as its human resources system, Insight, into a private Cloud and is now planning a migration of email and Message Labs Web filtering.

However, there are no plans to move its 100 sq metre Perth data centre into the Cloud.

“We don’t want all of our data sitting somewhere in China or India. I like to be able to go and touch it,” Disbury said.

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