Data explosion forcing IT to seek new backup tools

Managers must carefully consider the consequences of quickly switching vendors to get the right technology.

Tolliver said EMC's backup software could not easily support large files created by the Ohio State multimedia operation, forcing IT staffers to partition chunks of data to satisfy backup requirements.

EMC now says it plans to deliver a version of Retrospect for the Macintosh featuring a new native Intel engine by early 2009.

The communications office runs four Apple PowerPC-based Xserve servers, two Intel Xeon-based Xserve machines, two Xserve storage RAID units with 14 drives each, and a Spectra Logic T50 tape library.

Meanwhile, Newell Rubbermaid is continuing to use the CommVault galaxy software it installed in 2003 because of its ability to keep up with the rapid data growth at the maker of housewares, home furnishings and office products, said Matt Frehner, IT infrastructure manager at Rubbermaid.

Frehner said the company replaced CA's ArcServe product in 2003 because Galaxy promised to better keep up with Newell's data growth and could better support the company's move from a Novell network to a Microsoft network.

"I wanted [a product] to grow with because I knew at some point in time we could go from gigabytes to terabytes," noted Frehner. The amount of data the company stores has mushroomed from 500GB to 24TB since 2003, and CommVault's tools have kept pace.

Last month, Frehner upgraded from Galaxy to CommVault's next-generation Simpana data management suite, which adds integrated search and discovery features. The disk- and tape-based tool backs up 13TB of data each night from the company's SAN, network-attached storage and tape library machines.

In an ESG survey earlier this year, 121 IT managers listed a variety of events that could force them to change backup vendors quickly. They included new restrictions on corporate data access, changes in security regulations, poor product performance and poor customer support.

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