Sungard Financial cuts backup costs by 10x with Data Domain dedupe during disaster recovery upgrade

Sungard Financial cuts backup costs with Data Domain DD690 deduplication appliances and Symantec NetBackup consolidation as part of a disaster recovery upgrade.

By Antony Adshead, UK Bureau Chief

Sungard Financial Services has reduced backup costs by a factor of 10, consolidated backup onto Symantec NetBackup and achieved data reduction ratios of 25:1 with Data Domain data deduplication as part of an upgrade to its disaster recovery provision.

During the evaluation process, the company rejected Symantec PureDisk data deduplication on the grounds of prohibitive hardware costs. The disaster recovery upgrade was revealed at the Storage Networking Industry Association's Storage Networking World event in Frankfurt, Germany, this week.

Sungard Financial Services provides software and services to financial services businesses from a main site at Canary Wharf, London, and eight sites around the UK. It has grown in recent years by acquisition and had inherited a mixed backup environment that included several vendors' products.

Matt Billing, business continuity technical analyst at Sungard Financial Services, said, "We had to redesign the disaster recovery plan for Canary Wharf. We needed a cohesive strategy to get 60 TB off the array without busting the budget. We wrote off replication as too expensive for the value of data involved."

Billing's team looked in detail at two data deduplication products as part of the project. Symantec PureDisk came in at a good price point but brought with it high hardware costs, said Billing, as it needed five or more backup servers that in turn would have incurred significant power and cooling costs.

Sungard also evaluated Data Domain data deduplication devices; this vendor won out on ease of use and performance. Billing said, "Data Domain is a dedicated dedupe product. In proof of concept, it ate everything we threw at it, and it was easily integrated and managed."

The company now has two DD690 appliances -- at Canary Wharf and at a secondary site 40 miles away -- that deduplicate VMware images from the company's EMC Clariion storage. Data reduction ratios are in the order of 25:1 with about 130 TB, with about 700 VMware virtual servers backed up to it nightly by Symantec NetBackup.

Non-VMware file data is stored on an EMC Celerra device, with backups sent to the secondary location using Riverbed Steelhead WAN optimisation hardware to give a compression ratio of 3:1.

The Data Domain device is used as nearline storage for VMware server images which are created by the test and development work carried out at Canary Wharf.

Billing said, "We have NFS mounts to VSphere, offlining VMs that are temporarily unused. They're customer test VMs that would be very costly to discard and re-create. Primary storage is expensive -- $5 per gigabyte on our Clariion compared to 50 cents per gigabyte on the Data Domains."

"Overall, the benefits have been that we have reduced backup costs by 10x, freed up primary storage, achieved a 25x reduction ratio on data deduplication and reduced our use of tape media," said Billings.

Sungard Financial Services plans to roll out the Data Domain, Riverbed, NetBackup disaster recovery configuration across the rest of its UK and European offices.

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