News UK dumps tape for backup with Zadara cloud storage

News publishing corporation saves up to 40% on hardware and software costs by switching in-house hardware for a cloud-first policy, using Zadara cloud storage as a backup target

News UK has revamped its backup systems with Zadara cloud storage as part of an ongoing cloud-first push, saving around 40% on the potential cost of in-house hardware and software.

The company – publisher of titles that include The Sun and The Times – replaced Symantec NetBackup backup software with Commvault and ditched its ageing StorageTek SL3000 tape library.

Head of infrastructure Iain Caldwell said the existing backup system had experienced “nightly job failures”.

“We had multiple servers crashing, jobs taking twice as long,” he said. “The whole backup solution was a mess, so we decided to start from scratch,” said Caldwell.

The company put out a request for proposal and looked at all the leading backup software suppliers, eventually choosing Commvault, which it paired with Zadara cloud storage.

“We didn’t want to put more hardware in our datacentres and wanted to retire the behemoth of a tape library. It was the size of a Mini,” said Caldwell.

He said the company also looked at Amazon S3 and Google Cloud, as well as using commodity hardware, but eventually opted for Zadara because “it was very affordable; hard to ignore”.

Zadara Storage is a software-defined storage product that can be used on-premise as well as off-site. It provides file, block and object access, and customers can choose cache and memory capacity, drive type, Raid levels and disaster recovery options, with cloud features such as multi-tenancy and elasticity of performance and service duration.

News UK has deployed Zadara VPSA cloud-based storage arrays at three locations – two in London, one in Manchester.

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Caldwell said the key benefits were ease of deployment and reconfiguration, solid data protection and reduced costs compared with equipping an in-house datacentre.

“We get five nines availability, and a quick response if we need to implement something new; you can expect to have something done in four or five hours. We’ve only had to be in touch a couple of times and the support has been fantastic,” he said.

Caldwell estimated that by opting for a cloud-based target for backups the company had saved around 40% on the costs it would have incurred for hardware renewals and software licences.

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