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A Viable Process for Businesses of All Sizes
Because it ties all decisions back to business needs, this process would work for a business of any size that is planning to install a new backup system. Its analytical approach removes emotion from decisions, providing results that work immediately and that will scale for future business requirements. "Most of this process is common sense," commented Wiltshire. "But I found it so helpful when the CNT team suggested these measures that I want to point them out to others who might consider a job like this. The suggestion to even out the incremental and full backups to do the same amount of processing daily has especially made a difference in operations."
Wiltshire and his team divided the large and complex implementation plan into two phases and then took about four months to complete them.
During Phase 1, the team confirmed their hardware selection, designed and implemented the hardware infrastructure, prepared the migration plans, and migrated the eight largest database servers using VERITAS NetBackup DataCenter with VERITAS NetBackup Shared Storage Option. They moved about 35 TB of data.
During Phase 2, the team cleaned up the remaining details. They migrated the remaining 220 servers, mostly smaller Windows servers; completed training and handover; and stabilized and tuned the system.
The result of this process was a very successful project. Completed on time and on budget, the project made judicious use of its $1.2 million budget. It increased the reliability of daily backups from 60 percent to 98 percent, and it raised the backup capacity to 25 TB per week, with a capacity of greater than 1 TB per hour. The time needed to complete the biggest database backup decreased from approximately 80 hours to 12 hours. Equally important, the backup tape SAN is well-positioned for scalability.
Lest you think these Fair Isaac tape SAN project team members are superhumans who far outstrip your ability to perform, Wiltshire reports some valuable lessons learned:
- Have the right expertise available, especially if you're using new technology. For Wiltshire and Fair Isaac, the experts at CNT offered experience and a team approach.
- Have your team involved in the entire project. Buy-in brings the benefits of clear thinking, problem solving, and dedication.
- Set clear expectations and guiding principles. Avoid scope creep.
- Verify assumptions and business requirements. Separate fact from emotion.
- Plan for the future. Make sure your new installation is scalable.