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MK:Smart project gets ArcServe for virtual and physical backup

Milton Keynes smart city project chooses ArcServe UDP data protection product over Veeam for its ability to backup virtual and physical servers

MK:Smart -- an Open University-led project to create a smart city infrastructure for Milton Keynes -- announced it has deployed the ArcServe Unified Data Protection (UDP) data protection product and seen data deduplication ratios of 90%.

The Open University is leading the three-year MK:Smart initiative to boost growth by minimising strain on the infrastructure as the city expands.

The newly built MK Data Hub is at the centre of the project. It collects data about energy and water consumption, transport, weather and pollution sourced from satellite technology, sensor networks, social and economic datasets, social media and specialised apps.

The MK Data Hub comprises around 60 VMware virtual machines and six physical servers, supported by a DotHill iSCSI SAN running on a 10 gigabit Ethernet network.

The project has deployed the ArcServe UDP backup and data protection product on a standalone server. It protects data equivalent to around 55TB but, owing to data deduplication, the total data held only amounts to approximately 5TB.

UDP protects MK:Smart's virtual and physical servers as well as associated data and applications. It automatically carries out a full backup of the MK Data Hub once a week in less than 30 minutes and it runs incremental backups on weekdays at four intervals throughout the day.

Backups are replicated to a disaster recovery site elsewhere in Milton Keynes for additional data protection. The software can recover virtual machines in less than ten minutes.

Simple product management

A key advantage, said Julian Gilbert, senior systems administrator with MK:Smart, is the global data deduplication functionality on ArcServe UDP.

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He said: "ArcServe has what it calls Infinite Incremental protection in which data held is compared against all other data across the servers and only changed data is backed up. It does this at source and reduces the amount of data sent across the wire, then carries out further deduplication at the target. We get data deduplication ratios of around 90%."

The MK:Smart team chose the ArcServe product because of its ability to protect across platforms -- Windows and Linux -- as well as both virtual and physical servers.

Gilbert said: "The main competitor we looked at -- Veeam -- couldn't do this. It only backs up virtual servers. It's less costly and simpler in management terms to be able to use one product rather than two. Also we couldn't get the global data deduplication functionality anywhere else, so we might have ended up with three products."

Gilbert said another key feature that attracted MK:Smart to ArcServe is its agentless backup.

He said: "With agentless backup, if we move applications around in the virtual environment there's no need to worry about whether backups are pointed at the right server. We don't need to manage agents and there's no chance of the agent not speaking to the server."

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