REVIEWER: Terry Poovey, manager of storage administration for Raymond James.

BACKGROUND: Raymond James & Associates is a national leader in financial planning for individuals, corporations and municipalities. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raymond James Financial, Inc. Through its subsidiaries, Raymond James Financial has more than 4,800 financial advisers, serving 1.3 million accounts in 2,100 locations throughout the U.S., Canada and overseas. Total client assets are approximately $145 billion.

PLATFORMS: EMC hardware (DMX3000, DMX2000, DMX1000, CX600, CX700 and Centera) and Quantum ATL tape libraries.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Prior to utilizing CommVault Galaxy, we had three primary backup challenges. First, our local backup of remote offices was time-consuming and unreliable. Second, we needed to simplify our complex backup management. Third, our data to be backed up was growing extremely quickly, but our backup window could not be expanded.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We use CommVault Galaxy to back up both our data center and branch offices. Frame relay connections from our branch offices were extremely slow. By implementing synthetic full backups, traffic from our branch offices is greatly reduced. In fact, when IT sends a new server to a branch office, which happens on an average of nearly once a month, they set up the server in our St. Petersburg headquarters and do a full backup before they ship it. Galaxy AUXcopy also plays a big part in our branch office backup. Initial branch office backups are done disk to disk over the frame relay connection to the data center. Galaxy AUXcopy is then used to do a streaming copy to tape, minimizing the time the tape library is tied up. Galaxy backup also frees up valuable human resources. With Galaxy, there is no need to assign technical liaisons in the branch offices; any backup-related duties and tape and data security issues have been resolved, and there is no need to take people away from their primary duties. Previously, backup administrators at our data center had to manually track all that information at night, spending 90 percent of their time focusing on reporting when they could have been better utilized elsewhere. 

STRENGTHS: The flexibility of CommVault's Galaxy lets the backup team get more done in the same amount of time. Previously, we had to manually assign backups to specific tape drives. Now, with CommVault's Dynamic Tape Drive Allocation, jobs are dynamically allocated as drives become free, allowing us to keep all the drives going at full speed for maximum productivity. We especially like CommVault because we are primarily a Windows shop, and we like the way CommVault deals with Windows. Also, the reporting capabilities of Galaxy are outstanding. We send out nightly reports on the progress of backups as well as a report if a backup is not complete or if there is a problem. All the reports are scheduled and created automatically by Galaxy; our IT department just sends out the link. As our data backup needs have grown, we have used Galaxy to back up much more data than our previous system in the same backup window without a problem. The solution also provides us with better, more consistent backups with much less effort.

WEAKNESSES: There are things we are looking forward to in our relationship with CommVault, such as automated software installs and ISV to VTL vendor integration. This will enable us to copy data from virtual tape to physical tape, directly and seamlessly, while updating the ISV's tape catalog and without involving a media agent server in the copy process.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We did an in-depth analysis of a number of storage applications and chose Galaxy due to its ability to perform synthetic full backups and because it is natively a Windows product.

DELIVERABLES: With CommVault Galaxy, IT automatically sends out a dozen different reports each day, ensuring the right people get the information they need. The automated allocation of tape resources that we get from Galaxy allows us to keep all of the drives going at full speed, which has increased the amount of backup we are able to do from 1TB per weekend to 26TBs per weekend.

VENDOR SUPPORT:  We have always found the CommVault people straightforward and quick to react to our needs. I really like that if we request a change, we get it. They are genuinely involved in our storage environment.

DOCUMENTATION: Galaxy installation is over the network and uses autodiscovery to tell us what needs to be protected in our environment.

CommVault Galaxy Backup
CommVault Systems
2 Crescent Place
P.O. Box 900
Oceanport, NJ 07757-0900
(732) 870-4000

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