New Tape Software Supports Backup

When VARs take advantage of vendor programs like product seminars, new sales often result. Integrator Network Resources offered a VERITAS tape backup software seminar. It piqued the interest of a systems administrator from a Virginia-based nonprofit advocacy organization.

Network Resources (Chantilly, VA), a 29-employee, $9 million network systems integrator, started business in 1984. Richard Francart, director of sales, and Craig Bogan, account manager at Network Resources, discussed the highlights of a recent VERITAS installation. At the VERITAS software seminar, a representative from the 250-employee, nonprofit learned that its present tape backup system was not Y2K-certified. It was also no longer supported by the vendor, and there would be no future upgrades.

First Concern Was Y2K
The nonprofit's biggest concern was Y2K compliance, so Network Resources began by conducting a study of the organization's backup system in October 1998. The study concluded that both the backup software and the tape library should be upgraded. Network Resources recommended that the nonprofit organization convert to VERITAS Backup Exec software and upgrade from DLT to Mammoth tape format. That upgrade would greatly increase storage capacity and shrink backup time.

Since the nonprofit organization had multiple servers, Network Resources employed several VERITAS database and software modules, called application agents, to ensure compatibility. The Agent Accelerator for Windows NT/2000 was applied to the organization's six Windows NT servers. For the Novell server, the Agent Accelerator for Netware was installed. Network Resources configured Agent for SQL Server on the organization's one SQL server. For the Lotus Notes server, Lotus Domino Protection was applied. "As the nonprofit adds more servers," noted Bogan, "more agents will be necessary."

A final aspect of the installation involved disaster recovery. "One week after the integration," said Francart, "we installed VERITAS IDR (Intelligent Disaster Recovery) agent. We ran the IDR software on all the servers. The software makes a quick copy or an image of the basic operating system and basic tape backup software. It is essential in case of a complete failure, after which systems administrators must restore entire servers. IDR gives end users a shortcut to get the basic pieces of the operating system and the backup software running again. This way they can put their tape drive in and restore their files. There is no need to reload the operating system, reload the backup software, and then restore all the data to the tape.

To complement the new software, Network Resources also installed a two-drive, 20-cartridge Exabyte 220 automated 8 mm tape library. Equipped with the Mammoth technology, the tape library will soon be upgraded for free with new Mammoth-2 drives. This will triple the native storage capacity for the nonprofit organization. Drive performance will increase by eight times.

New Installation Set Standards For Other Sites
The $30,000 installation gave the nonprofit advocacy organization an up-to-date, supported software product. It also set standards for six other sites that Network Resources will upgrade in the near future for the organization. VERITAS software is available to manage the seven separate sites, Francart said. "Network Storage Executive, the management module," said Bogan, "allows a main console to monitor the seven sites."

Both Francart and Bogan believe that client education leads to easier acceptance of new technologies. "All along we've been educating the nonprofit organization on drives and software," said Francart. "Its staff was initially resistant to changing tape formats; but with knowledge, it became clear that upgrading the system made sense."

Ann DeDad