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Oxfam solves thorny data storage problem

Oxfam has solved a thorny data storage problem by implementing database backup optimisation software from Quest Software after detecting a bottleneck in its IT system.

Oxfam has solved a thorny data storage problem by implementing database backup optimisation software from Quest...

Software after detecting a bottleneck in its IT system.

Oxfam relies heavily on IT and uses PeopleSoft applications based on several Microsoft SQL Server databases to carry out logistics, finance and project management operations.

The production SQL Server database holds live data, but Oxfam also uses a number of additional copies of the database for development, quality assurance and training.

As the volume of live data increased over time, the size of additional copies expanded. This meant that the storage requirement increased, as did the length of nightly backup and restore times.

Oxfam decided to implement Quest Software’s LiteSpeed which uses encryption and compression to speed up the database backup process.

“Using LiteSpeed, our production database now takes only 20 minutes to back up and 90 minutes to restore, which is twice as fast as when the database was half its current size. These times are far more acceptable and will ensure minimal disruption to our critical PeopleSoft applications, so Oxfam’s emergency relief efforts do not suffer,” said Jason Oldroyd technical support manager at Oxfam.

In the past, Oxfam ran Windows file compression and PKZip to reduce the size of the daily backups to disc, which it then copied to LTO storage tapes. However, data archiving was taking a lot of time and effort.

“As a charity, we expect to take on some levels of administrative pain in the interests of lowering our operational costs, but as data expanded, we were spending increasing amounts of time finding space on the network for our backups,” said Oldroyd.

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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