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Legal services firm gets 54TB of NEC Hydrastor NAS as backup target

Quislex has cut backup windows by a third and will roll out 700TB of NEC Hydrastor to Hyderabad datacentre to provide a grid of deduplicated storage for backup and archive

Legal services firm Quislex has deployed NEC Hydrastor scale-out NAS as a target for backup and archive, cutting its backup window from nine hours to six, and plans to roll out 700TB more using the same product at its main datacentre in Hyderabad, India.

The move came as the company decided to expand its New York office from 10 staff to around 200 as part of a change in function, said Quislex chief technology officer Michel Sahyoun.

The New York office had historically been an upper management, front-end location, but the company expanded it to encompass sales and marketing, taking employee numbers from 10 to 200 with a consequent rise in IT requirements.

Quislex is a legal services company with 1,200 employees that provides e-discovery and contract management services, with a base in New York, its main datacentre at Hyderabad in India, and offices in Chicago, San Francisco and London.

It is a Windows shop with near 100% virtualisation on VMware, 30 physical servers running 350 – 400 virtual machines at Hyderabad and most users on virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Sahyoun said the upgrade of the New York office entailed looking at new server and storage providers – including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Nutanix and Cisco – with NEC servers and M110 SAN with SAS 15,000rpm spinning disk drives eventually chosen on the basis of cost and responsiveness to customer needs.

The move also saw Quislex deploy 54TB of Hydrastor HS8 scale-out NAS appliances with data deduplication for backup and archiving, using 6TB SATA drives.

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Veaam is used as backup software with the Hydrastor cluster as a backup target. Hydrastor hardware was deployed with a view to rolling out 700TB at Hyderabad for the company’s main archives.

The HS8 appliances are expandable with grid-connected nodes, either so-called Hybrid Nodes with processing and storage capacity, and Storage Nodes that just provide extra storage capacity. Hydrastor doesn’t use traditional RAID but instead uses erasure coding that can deal with up to six hard drive failures at a time.

“New York city is a test case for Hyderabad where we have massive amounts of archive data,” said Sahyoun. “The benefits are capacity and simplicity. It’s easy to add volumes and further appliances if we want to.”

“Also, Hydrastor uses erasure coding, which makes disk rebuild times virtually instantaneous. That’s because you don’t need to rebuild the whole drive; just the bad sectors are dealt with.

“Where we were always close to over-running our backup window, we now come in way under, cutting it from nine hours to around six. We also get a data deduplication ratio of around 15:1.” he said.

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