Wakefield halves back-up times after rolling out CA BrightStor


Wakefield halves back-up times after rolling out CA BrightStor

Wakefield Health Informatics Services (HIS) is standardising its storage environment using Computer Associates' (CA) BrightStor range of storage management products, in an implementation that is due to finish in December.

The new software has already helped Wakefield HIS shrink the time it takes to back up information from 13 hours to five and a half hours a night; and to identify and free 4Tbytes of storage.

Wakefield HIS is the IT department for two primary care trusts, a mental health trust and 44 general practices, with a total of 4,000 end-users.

In April, Wakefield signed a three-year contract with CA to use a number of its software products. It recently went live with back-up and restore product Brightstor Arcserve Backup 11.1 and Enterprise Backup Exchange Premium Add-On, which will allow it to back up and restore individual e-mails and attachments.

It is also in the process of rolling out BrightStor SRM (Storage Resource Manager) and linking it to BrightStor Portal, so business managers are able to view simple storage reports.

Gareth Bridges, systems manager at Wakefield HIS, said, "By deploying BrightStor SRM we have already been able to de-duplicate gigabytes of data. We freed up 4Tbytes of storage that was wasted, and found over a million duplicate files. Business managers can take this away and do something with it, rather than buy more storage."

"Health trusts do not have unlimited budgets, so saving time and money always has to be a consideration for us," said Bridges.

Before implementing CA's software, Wakefield upgraded its old DLT tape drives - which had become difficult to manage - with Dell PowerVault 1306T LTO2 tape libraries. In combination with the new software, this has more than halved the time it takes to carry out complete overnight back-ups.

The storage management project is the latest part of a larger standardisation programme that involved moving from numerous operating systems, including Windows NT 4, Novell Netware, and several versions of HP-UX Unix on HP 9000 servers - for HR and finance applications. In 2004, Wakefield standardised on 50 mainly Intel-based servers running Microsoft Windows 2003 Standard.

As part of the deal, HIS chose a capacity-based pricing, paying only for the software it uses, which will save an anticipated 37% in server licences over the next three years.

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