Database Backup And DR Simplified With Deduplication and Remote Replication

SYNNEX Corporation, a Fortune 500 business, is a leading business process services company, servicing resellers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in multiple regions around the world.

The company's operations depend on the regional on-line databases that contain product information, price lists, inventories, and sales records, so protecting them is one of the IT team’s most important tasks.

Each database is replicated to a second site that can act as a failover location; the standby sites are checked to eliminate any errors; and, periodically, the sites are switched—the main active data set is moved to the second location and operated from there. The databases are backed up every day; copies are moved off-site, and backups are retained for up to a decade.

Data Growth Threatens to Overwhelm Backup

As SYNNEX’s data grew, backup, DR and file recovery were becoming time-consuming and cumbersome across the company’s North American, Asian, and European sites.

The company decided to shift to a disk-based backup solution using deduplication and remote replication. As a distributor, SYNNEX had seen how Quantum's DXi-Series appliances had helped its customers, so choosing a Quantum deduplication solution was an easy decision.

Disk Backup and Remote Replication Automate DR, Streamline Recovery

The team put a DXi appliance in each data center and linked them together using the DXi’s remote replication. Each database is backed up every day to the local DXi, which replicates the data over a WAN to the standby site. As a result, DR is a completely automatic process for all the data centers.

“The primary U.S. database is now about 3 TB in size,” explains Jason Shen, SYNNEX Senior Director of System Administration, “but the deduplication is so effective that we only send about 2% of it—50 GB to 100 GB—over the wire to create the replica. It’s great to have off-site protection without having to do anything.”

The system today links sites in California, South Carolina, and Ontario and is being deployed in Asia and the UK. The system’s efficiency allows SYNNEX to meet all of its retention requirements using disk, and because the backup copy can be mounted directly, recovery is fast and easy.

Additional Data Management Benefits

SYNNEX discovered that DXis could solve several data management issues that had nothing to do with backup.

Live database replication didn’t send secondary files, like reports, to the standby site.

“But the DXi solved that problem,” says Shen. “The backup includes everything—and all of it is now moved every day to the standby sites.”

Moving databases between sites had also been a problem.

“But now, instead of sending tapes or performing a huge FTP job,” says Shen, “we move the database using DXi. We do a backup of the primary data, replicate it to the standby site, and just bring it up there. It’s much faster and easier than the way we used to have to move data.”

The solution also helps share data with remote development teams that were slowed down by WAN links.

“We figured out that we could solve the problem with DXi,” explains Shen. “We created a native format NFScopy of the dev pool on the DXi at the second site,and we now periodically resynch it to the primary siteusing the system’s replication. As a result, the remoteteam can now do most of its work on a local copy thatis kept current, which really saves time and makesthem more productive.”

Management has also become easier.

“With DXi Advanced Reporting, I sit in my office in California and look at the status of backup and replication across all of our global sites.” reports Shen.