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Generali International optimises protection of VMware Virtual Infrastructure with EMC Data Domain Deduplication Storage
Generali IT Executive to Present at Storage Expo 2009 on Management and Business Benefits
By enhancing its information infrastructure with Data Domain deduplication storage solutions, Generali has been able to reduce the storage capacity required to backup and protect its virtual server environment by as much as 70:1, with an average of 38:1 compression across all data sets, achieving considerable cost, administration and management savings. This week Mr. Iain Davidson, Operations Manager, Information Systems at Generali will share his implementation experiences with attendees at Storage Expo 2009 in London.
Although Generali had been utilising general disk-to-disk backup for over five years to protect up to a year's worth of data, when the financial services organisation implemented a virtualised server environment demands on its storage resources increased considerably. Generali could no longer protect even three months of backups on its existing disk-to-disk backup and the IT team was forced to reallocate a large amount of its primary storage - a costly solution for extended retention of backup data.
Further, trying to replicate the backups of its virtual servers using non-optimised replication overwhelmed the 100 MB link that connects its Guernsey-based primary data centre and DR site. In search of a more efficient, scalable and manageable solution, the IT organisation began researching the different approaches to deduplication available.
"Having spent a couple weeks looking at solutions, it became very apparent that EMC's approach to deduplication with Data Domain kept coming up," said Mr. Davidson. "There's nothing else out there that has the kudos and reputation that the EMC Data Domain portfolio has. We try to go best-of-breed whenever we can and when we looked at what we wanted to achieve, it was clear that Data Domain was the right solution for us."
Generali moved ahead quickly, first setting up a multi-system trial to test the performance and reliability of the Data Domain platform's deduplication and replication capabilities and then moved the systems into production. "It took less than a day to configure the systems. The sales engineer conducted a back up, set policies, checked the replication and completed a full restore before leaving the site and it has worked like a dream since. We've rarely had to touch the systems," continued Mr. Davidson.
With EMC Data Domain deduplication storage as an essential part of Generali's data protection infrastructure, the organisation has already experienced considerable cost and administration time savings. It has recaptured SAN storage space, and the team now spends 50% less time managing its virtual infrastructure. Backups are now a lot faster, significantly reducing the backup window. Network-efficient replication of virtual servers to the DR site has minimal impact on the organisation's network bandwidth, and was implemented without having to budget for a larger WAN link. And by deploying VMware® vCenter Site Recovery Manager, Generali has further simplified recovery testing and improved overall DR management.
"Our CEO is very technology aware, and business continuity planning is a high priority," continued Mr. Davidson. "I have so much more confidence in our ability to recover data quickly now. I recently conducted a full virtual server rebuild from the Data Domain system, and the server was back up and in the infrastructure within 45 minutes - a process that may have taken a day or more in our previous physical server environment."
One area that has particularly impressed Mr. Davidson is the support Generali has received for its EMC Data Domain systems. "From the sales engineer who installed the systems, to the support staff on the other end of the phone, nothing is too much trouble. Any company that notifies its customer that there is a potential issue before it happens is a first rate company with which to do business."
EMC's family of Data Domain deduplication storage systems easily integrate into IT environments by supporting leading enterprise backup and archive applications as well as a variety of network types and transfer protocols simultaneously. These include CIFS or NFS fileserver over Ethernet, Virtual Tape Library over Fibre Channel and the OpenStorage interface from Symantec Veritas NetBackup. For more information on EMC Data Domain deduplication storage, please visit www.datadomain.com.
For more information on EMC Data Domain's sponsorship and activities at Storage Expo 2009 or to attend Mr. Davidson's presentation, please visit www.storage-expo.com.
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