Backing up Sydney

Sydney City Council runs a complex set of tape backup cycles to support its many public works depots, libraries and community centres

With more than 60 branch offices connected via IP WAN, backing-up data is critical for Sydney City Council.

Sites connected under the Council's network range from a disaster recovery (DR) site to neighbourhood service centres, public works depots, libraries, community centres and pools. The Council, which has standardized its network on Citrix technology, holds all critical business information centrally, with the IT department responsible for ensuring data redundancy and availability for all sites.

Sydney City Council manager of information services Greg Naimo says the department backs-up data on two SANs and duplicates critical data on tape cartridges.

"With systems run centrally via Citrix, production data is held centrally on our SAN, which is fibre-connected to a paired SAN at our disaster recovery site," Naimo says. "All production data is replicated in real-time to the DR SAN and from there, backups are performed to tape, then at various points tape cycles are sent to an off-site tape vaulting service."

"The initial and most immediate backup is held on the DR SAN which tracks the production SAN in real-time. Tape is then used to backup the DR SAN data on a regular daily basis," Naimo says.

The council stores a large number of tape cartridges in the DR site's autoloaders and from there, they are periodically sent to an off-site tape vaulting service.

"We operate a quite complex set of tape backup cycles across all work related data to ensure adequacy of recently backed-up data and also access to older data taken out of the backup cycles at specific points in time," Naimo says.

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