ANALYTICi is a customer relationship management (CRM) consulting organization focused on strategy, systems integration and data mining and modeling, and is a division of the FCB Group. ANALYTICi helps its clients capture and utilize disparate sources of customer and marketing data to better understand who the customers are, what they buy, when they buy and why they buy. The analysis results in the cultivation of long-term, profitable customer relationships and interactions. Drawing on expertise across a number of disciplines, including strategic marketing, brand development, marketing- process development, data warehousing, data mining and data modeling, ANALYTICi helps Fortune 500 companies measurably improve the profitability of their customer relationships.

The cornerstone of ANALYTICi's approach to CRM is its collection and analysis of marketing and customer data. In little more than two years, our client data warehouses have grown from zero to four terabytes. With a typical ANALYTICi client presenting a raw data profile of 10 to 15 million customers and more than 1 million transactions every month, data storage is a mission-critical concern.

ANALYTICi's success level has been increasing in the marketplace, which brings additional requirements and responsibilities. Our applications are capacity-intensive. We anticipate an annual doubling of our data storage requirements for the foreseeable future.

Constant safeguarding of clients' data is absolutely critical. Much of it is real-time, 24x7 transaction-based information ­– impossible to recreate in any acceptable time frame. It would take months, even years, to recreate any information lost from the database. It covers the full gamut of a client's operations: call center data, direct mail response and point-of-purchase data –­ all of which is streamed into a data warehouse. Leaving the information on the hard drive is simply too expensive given these massive amounts of data.

ANALYTICi makes its clients' data constantly available within a fully fault-tolerant environment. The only viable option in our environment is tape storage. Unfortunately, the single backup server and DLT tape storage solution we previously implemented was not able to scale with our growth.

DLT proved to be a bottleneck in its handling of customer data. We added a second backup server and two additional network attached storage (NAS) devices, but it became apparent that DLT could not handle the regular increases in the data load.

We looked at various tape formats. The reliability of LTO drives, as well as their backup/restore speed, proved to be deciding factors in format selection. A reputation for solid design and performance was key in our choice of a library vendor.

ANALYTICi chose Qualstar Corporation's TLS-8222 tape library, running multiple LTO drives, to handle our escalating needs. The 8222 is a completely automated backup system, handling multiple 200GB (compressed) LTO cartridges with no human intervention. The transfer rate blows DLT away.

The 8222 gives us the ability to run our backup system without the constant attention other libraries demand. We swap out cartridges once a week instead of changing them daily. The 8222 handles up to 22 cartridges simultaneously, more than other tape library vendors, and uses HP LTO drives. Ease of use was also a key factor in our decision. The menu-driven front end and documentation enable my staff to handle data loads without difficulty.

Qualstar's libraries offer increased peace of mind. From day one, we recouped our investment. As additional data, encompassing millions of customer transactions, pours into our client databases, accommodating growth at ANALYTICi is an ongoing process. We plan to move toward a SAN environment with RAID 5 to improve online disk accessibility. ANALYTICi also seeks to provide dedicated servers and backup on a client-by-client basis. With a solid backup mechanism in place, we just need to keep an eye on capacity. As mentioned earlier, we'll be into double-digit terabytes in 12 to 18 months. The current objective is to maintain at least two months' worth of data, keep backup windows tight and be able to recover data quickly, if required.

Qualstar answered our immediate and mid-term needs with the TLS-8222. Within the TLS-8000 Series, there's plenty of room to grow. The equipment is fast and reliable, as is the service we've received.

Qualstar Corporation's TLS-6000 automated tape library family for LTO technology offers seven models with capacities from 1.1 to more than 50 terabytes, and throughput to meet the toughest mission-critical backup, serverless backup, and image and data-archive requirements. Support by leading application developers includes Computer Associates, Legato, Tivoli and Veritas.

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