Banking On DXi Replication Simplifies Backup And Restore

Nihon Unisys recently deployed Quantum’s DXi deduplication and replication technology for one of its regional banking customers as part of its BankVision backup hosting service. The new system, which replaced day-to-day use of tape in remote sites with disk and replication, was so successful that it has now become a standard BankVision feature.

Tape backup replaced by DXi replication

The original BankVision tape-based backup created bottlenecks and high overhead, since data was backed up onto tapes that were moved off-site each day.

“Because of the time and effort required to manage magnetic tapes in and out of the libraries, media transportation costs, and tape failure, we identified tape-based backup as a major issue that we had to address...” comments Junichi Mitsui, Director of Middleware Development & Services 3, Financial System Services 2.

After looking at all the leading deduplication products on the market, the team settled on Quantum’s DXi disk backup appliances. Besides offering both deduplication and replication, the DXi line had the best integration with tape libraries and a wide range of support for different backup applications. The most important selection requirement for Nihon Unisys was that the new solution would be able to improve backup without requiring fundamental changes to basic operations.

Mitsui remarked, "We selected Quantum’s DXi6700 line for two primary reasons: 1) we can continue to use NetBackup . . . and 2) the DXi’s Virtual Tape Library interface allows us to manage backup operations using our familiar tape-based backup scenario."

Data reduction proves extremely effective

Nihon Unisys conducted a six-month evaluation with the help of staff from Tokyo Electron Device (TED) using data equivalent to those in banking environments. In the end, the backup data was reduced to just 7.5% of the original size—so it took up only 1/13th of the space of the original.

The data reduction was critical because it enabled replication of backups over a network for off-site protection.

"The amount of daily backup data in the actual production environment of our first DXi-based system is about 2.4TB per month…" says Mitsui. "Although we assumed that if we started backup processing at midnight it would last until noon the next day, we discovered that it in fact was virtually complete at 8:00 the next morning. It was an amazing achievement."

Besides eliminating daily tape handling, the new DXi system also makes recovery more efficient. Users easily see where data is stored, making it easy to initiate restores. Tape is still used in the system, but only for long-term retention and Business Contingency Planning.

"The adoption of the VTL technology ends up replacing three traditional tape libraries with one DXi6700," Mitsui says. "This basically eliminates the need for day-to-day tape removal and transportation."

DXi becoming standard for Japanese regional banks

"Ten regional banks are currently using BankVision" says Mitsui. "Since the DXi-Series is now the standard backup system for that service, we plan to replace all the existing backup systems with DXi solutions as part of our regular, five-year hardware replacement practice."