OSI Food Finds The Right Recipe For Multi-Site Backup With DXi Appliances

In 2009, high data growth meant that the legacy tape systems at the OSI Group’s headquarters in Günzburg and in several of its branches could no longer handle the volume, making backup windows far too long.

“The slow backups would extend into our daily business operations, creating delays,” explains Christian Müller, Senior IT Specialist at OSI Food Solutions Germany GmbH. “At the same time, tape management became increasingly complex, costing additional time and introducing opportunities for error.”

RAPID DATA GROWTH PUSHES APPLIANCES TO THEIR LIMITS

The company responded by replacing the tape libraries with Quantum DXi® disk appliances in the Günzburg headquarters and the largest satellite branch. Local backups went to the appliances, and replication provided daily off-site protection. Backup windows were cut in half, eliminating the conflict with production schedules, and replication eliminated daily tapes.

Then in 2014, the IT team felt like they were having déjà-vu. Data had more than doubled again, new sites were added, and the company had virtualized over 90% of its servers. The combination created new data protection headaches.

“VMs are easy to deduplicate, but they take up quite a bit of storage space in the backup systems,” Müller said. “In short, we were running out of space and time…again.”

OSI CONTINUES WITH QUANTUM AND ITS PARTNER FLORESTAN

The IT team liked their original DXi appliances, so they contacted Quantum and Florestan to help update their system. The headquarter’s DXi appliance was replaced with a larger, more scalable model, and new appliances were installed at six other sites across Europe.

Key to the program’s success was setting up effective, multi-site replication. With the new system, the headquarters carries out weekly full backups and daily incrementals. The other locations do daily full backups to make restore easier. Parallel replication between different locations retains redundant copies to protect all sites for DR purposes.

DXi deduplication appliances allow for time-controlled bandwidth restriction, allowing the team to configure replication to avoid conflict with other network uses.

“The results have been wonderful. Thanks to the Quantum deduplication appliances, everything, backup and replication, runs automatically,” Müller said.

SUPERIOR DEDUPLICATION RATES DELIVER IMPRESSIVE RESULTS

Müller is delighted by the savings enabled by the deduplication technology. Overall, the deployments reduced backup volumes by more than 85 percent across all locations, and one site is seeing a deduplication rate of a full 155:1.

“We have already had to perform several restores – individual data is restored much faster than with the old systems. And the deduplication appliances also reduce the failure rate because we don’t need to exchange tapes in the library anymore. That makes things much easier.”

LEVERAGING VIRTUALIZATION TO REDUCE COSTS: THE DXi V1000

OSI used VMware to incorporate Quantum's virtual DXi appliance, the V1000. DXi V1000 is a virtual DXi disk backup appliance that looks like a physical appliance to backup software. It stores local backups and replicates data to other DXi systems, but it completely eliminates the need for a physical appliance.

“The DXi V1000 is the perfect solution for our smaller branch at Bad Iburg – it has a very good deduplication rate for both virtual and physical servers, it is affordable, and having a virtual appliance is particularly suitable for decentralized operations,” Müller said.

The overall results are faster backup, faster restores and reduced administration time.

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