High Performance Data Storage And Backup Solutions
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Cybernetics Review

UNC at Charlotte

"miSAN® has improved the efficiency of our backup operations immensely, and has been able to grow with our infrastructure."

Established in 1946, the University of North Carolina's Charlotte Campus is the fourth largest institution within the University of North Carolina system, and the largest institution of higher education in the Charlotte region. The university employs 900 full-time faculty and educates over 21,500 students across seven professional colleges.

Mike Teague is the Director of Information Technology for Student Union, Activities & Recreation (SUAR).

With four Macintosh servers running OSX and 2.5 terabytes of data to manage, Mike Teague was finding his tape-only backup solution both limiting and time-consuming. He wanted more capacity in a scalable solution, and he also wanted to decrease the amount of time and resources required to complete daily incremental backups and weekly full backups. He investigated D2D2T solutions for the "many performance, scalability, and versatility benefits" and after evaluating several solutions chose Cybernetics' miSAN® V Series because of its superior "value, ease of use, and performance advantages."

Like Mike Teague, many organizations are moving to Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape solutions to provide the best of what disk and tape have to offer. Initial backup to disk provides administrators and users with immediate access to data in the event it is needed, so they can manage other activities during prime working hours; archiving to lower-cost, portable tape can occur unattended after hours, and tapes can later be sent to a secure off-site location. What distinguishes the Cybernetics miSAN® is that they provide all the benefits of D2D2T - with unmatched ease of use and price-performance.

Teague connected his miSAN® V-Series directly to his Ethernet network and assigned it an IP address, giving him enterprise-wide access to centralized data backup and restore. He experienced "at least a 30% reduction in backup time," he estimates, along with quicker restores and reduced need for tape management. In summary, "It has made our backup efforts much easier, scalable, and efficient" he says.

The need to grow was important for UNCC, and with three Gigabit Ethernet ports, a SATA-2 backplane, and support for up to 9 TB native capacity, the V Series offers tremendous room for expansion. Incorporating tape virtualization, it also provides the desired compatibility with UNCC's existing backup hardware and software, which leverages technology investments while reducing the need for training. Backup can be scheduled to run at any time, unattended, at designated intervals, while a connection to network UPS eliminates the risk of data loss due to power outages. Multiple backups can run concurrently to independent logical libraries within the virtual tape library. Archiving to tape can be performed automatically at the completion of the virtual tape backup, or at any time; and because it's completely serverless, there's no drain on resources. The archived tape is non-proprietary, so it can be restored in any like tape drive on any like host platform. With support from Cybernetics' staff members who "do not mind going the extra mile to help," says Teague, "I would gladly recommend this product."

The V Series is also available with an integrated Cybernetics tape drive, providing up to 4.5 TB in just 2U of rack space and up to 1.2 TB on each removable media. Other miSAN® models include the D Series, an iSCSI-based SAN storage appliance and the R Series, a multi-purpose iSCSI-based solution that can be configured as an IP SAN, a DFS NAS, an NFS mount point and D2D2T backup.


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