The Lightning's IT staff was utilizing tape backups, but found the process increasingly challenging due to shrinking backup windows, long recovery times and spotty reliability. Tape backups took hours to complete, yet still resulted in old backups that hadn't captured the latest data changes.
"Recovering from tape was very difficult, often requiring us to rebuild entire servers," said Ian Steele, director of IT for the Tampa Bay Lightning. "And since there was no continuous data protection (CDP) in place, we didn't have all our data replicating offsite in real time, should a hurricane, flood or other disaster occur. We needed to find the right product to meet our recovery time and recovery point objectives, while working efficiently, effectively and reliably in a virtualized environment."
The Lightning's most mission-critical application is Microsoft Exchange 2010 - the core application used for selling season tickets, conducting fan outreach, and important daily e-mail communications. Other tier one applications included the Blackberry enterprise server and distributed file servers, along with Great Plains accounting, financial and operations management software.