To improve reliability, performance and security of data backup and recovery at the law firm where he works, Sean Curry switched from tape-based to disk-based backup.
"We decided tape wasn't reliable," Curry told attendees at AFCOM's Data Center World on Tuesday. In practice, Curry, director of IT Services at Dallas-based law firm Hughes & Luce LLP, said his firm simply couldn't recover data backed up to tape from his company's 55 servers.
Curry eliminated his tape system two and a half years ago and replaced it with two InfoStage "vaults," or centralized storage servers, from EVault Inc. in Emeryville, Calif. The backup storage servers reside in his two data centers in Austin and Dallas.
"We eliminated tape, and in order to do that we went to a dual vaulting environment. So to do that we have a disk backup vault in each of our data centers, and every night everything is backed up locally for a quicker restore, but it's also backed up across the WAN for our off-site vault. That was a requirement we had to achieve in order to eliminate tape."
Essentially, each backup storage server serves as a backup for its local data center as well as a remote backup for the firm's other data center. Engineers no longer needed to move old tapes out of the data centers in order to store data at a remote site.
Lauren Whitehouse, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) in Milford, Mass., co-presented a session on best practices in data backup and recovery with Curry and Richard Heitman, vice president of product management at EVault. Whitehouse said a majority of companies do at least some disk-based backup and recovery. Of 228 surveyed companies, ESG found that only 29% back up to only tape. Fifty-one percent back up to tape and disk, and 21% back up to only disk.
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