BakBone backs-up Primus Canada

When Paul Monaghan came onboard as Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc.’s new manager of service platform engineering six months ago, one of his first priorities was to improve the Toronto-based firm’s data back-up.

“Primus has grown a lot in the last few years, which has increased [the amount of] data [the company receives]. Some of the key stuff was being backed-up [but] was not an ingrained part of the environment. I was tasked to make back-up be a totally seamless part of the environment just like any other service,” said Monaghan.

Primus has more data to back up than a lot of organizations. Its back-up list includes all the e-mail accounts of its users, Web pages and critical log files. “All of this stuff needs to be backed-up and sitting on various different devices in the network,” said Monaghan.

Primus’ previous back-up solution from Veritas was inflexible, slow to deploy, and some of its features did not fit with the Primus environment, Monaghan said. As well, he was dismayed with the poor support Veritas provided and when the support renewal for Veritas came to $65,000 a year, Monaghan knew it was time to seek a better back-up solution.

Enter BakBone, the San Diego-based company that is a provider of data protection, back-up and recovery software. The firm provided Primus with its NetVault for Linux system at a cost of $14,000 a year. Primus implemented NetVault last December.

“All too many times…back-up and recovery has been extremely difficult and painful for IT managers. [NetVault] can make [back-up and recovery] as seamless and as transparent as possible,” said Adrian Jones, senior vice-president worldwide OEM and alliances for BakBone.

“One of the big features for [Primus] was the ability [for NetVault] to take our nine tape drives, which are spread amongst three libraries, and virtualize them,” Monaghan said.

The previous Veritas solution wanted to dedicate a tape drive to each one of Primus’ six Network Appliance filers. Monaghan noted if he went that route, it would have eaten through six of his tape drives in order to get a high speed back-up.

When considering NetVault as a potential replacement, Monaghan downloaded the free 45-day trial from BakBone’s Web site. “I installed [the demo] and within 15 to 20 minutes I was backing-up one host. I don’t think that is humanly possible with some of the competing hosts out there,” he said.

Jones added it is the ease of use of the NetVault software that has companies like Primus coming to the firm.

“We have companies deploy our products in a few hours that our nearest competitor, Veritas, takes a week in set-up time to deploy,” he said. Monaghan agreed and said since moving to NetVault, his team no longer spends all day backing-up Primus data. Instead it now just 15 minutes to half an hour.

Another benefit that Monaghan liked was NetVault’s reporting capabilities. The problem with the previous solution, he said, was it sent e-mails at night that were very large.

“We couldn’t figure out how to shrink that down and make it more straight and to the point. [The new] reporting system will tell us the status of any devices connected to it, tell us how many tapes we have remaining [and] whether or not back-up of a particular host succeeded the night before,” he said.

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