Scalar Tape Library Eliminates Backup Headaches

To keep up with increasing data growth, irrigation specialist Hunter Industries updated its backup technology by purchasing a Quantum Scalar tape library with embedded iLayer™ software and HP LTO-5 tape drives. The result: A 90 percent-plus reduction in administrative time, dependable restores, and savings of more than $2,000 per month in media costs. 

Time-Intensive System, Hit-and-Miss Restores

Most people might presume that a company selling sprinklers would have few concerns about protecting data. Hunter Industries, however, is not just any sprinkler company. Hunter specializes in sophisticated irrigation and water management systems that are used by subdivision developers, golf courses, and international customers like builders in Dubai.

The company’s engineering plans, plus all of its multimedia marketing materials, are proprietary assets that have helped Hunter become a market leader. They are also data-intensive materials that the IT team needed to do a better job of protecting, according to Network Administrator Jeff Winckler.

With a data growth rate of 30 to 40 percent annually, the IT team struggled to keep up. The outdated tape library system in place was prone to incomplete backups, failed restores, and lost data. Winckler was spending more than ten hours per week handling tapes to complete a full backup.

In looking for a new data protection solution, the IT team quickly focused on buying a Quantum Scalar tape library because it had the scalability and reliability to match Hunter’s needs. Management features found in the iLayer software make it easy to restore data. The team was also impressed with Quantum’s reputation for quality.

Benefits: Savings in Time and Money

Hunter purchased a Scalar i500 tape library with two LTO-4 tape drives, upgrading to LTO-5 drives two years later. With the Scalar tape library installed, Winckler now spends less than half an hour per week handling tapes compared to 10 to 15 hours before, lowering his management time by more than 90 percent.

Additionally, although LTO-5 tapes are more expensive than the media used in the past, they hold far more data and save Hunter about $2,100 per month on tape purchases.

Restores are no longer problematic. Before installing the Scalar library, Winckler remembers cases when engineering drawings needed to be accessed and the most recent usable backup version was months old. Now when files are restored, they can be counted on to be current.

Winckler keeps an eye on the backups, but he no longer worries about whether Hunter’s data is protected. The Scalar library hasn’t let him down.