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FalconStor's VirtualTape Library Provides Disk-Based Backup and Data Protection at Korea Telecom

  • July 01 2007, 1:00am EDT

REVIEWER: MyungJong Lee, IT department head, Korea Telecom.

BACKGROUND: Korea Telecom is Korea's top integrated wired/wireless communications service provider, with more than $20 billion in total assets and 38,000 employees. KT provides a broad range of products and services for domestic Korean customers, including telephone, broadband Internet, land-to-mobile (LM) and wireless.

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Oracle ERP, ICIS Billing and Customer Response and Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW). 150TB primary storage, StorageTek Tape Libraries, NetBackup (5.1 and 6.0) and NetWorker (7.2.2).

PROBLEM SOLVED: In our environment, data is constantly growing. Protecting this data is of utmost importance. Backups became challenging as data volumes increased. Because of the large quantity of data and the need to restart the backup job if an error occurred, any failure could severely affect the availability, timeliness and reliability of restored data. Furthermore, restoration was only available for a maximum of 96TB of our 150TB of data. We needed a solution that could back up enormous amounts of data while enabling immediate recovery. With the installation of the FalconStor VirtualTape Library (VTL), we are able to complete our full backups, minimize our backup windows and meet our business requirements for fast recovery. And, we can do it all with the assurance that data integrity is intact. We are very pleased with VTL and intend to use it for additional remote backup in the future. We are also interested in FalconStor's deduplication technology for VTL to optimize resource utilization and remote backup data replication.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: VTL is connected in a serial manner to the ICIS Customer Response System, ICIS Billing Claim System, ICIS and KT card as well as our EDW and ERP systems. We use VTL for integrated primary backups and then leverage physical tape media for archiving and secondary backup, exporting to a tape library. Our backup storage capacity is approximately 230TB, and the compression technology of VTL allows us to store more than 600TB on disk.

STRENGTHS: The biggest benefit of VTL is the enhanced reliability of backup jobs. Data integrity is no longer compromised. The disk-based data protection of VTL eliminates the potential data integrity issues inherent in the tape medium.

WEAKNESSES: We hoped that a virtual tape library solution would ideally offer some form of redundant data elimination. When we first purchased VTL, it did not include this. FalconStor is now offering data deduplication through its Single Instance Repository for VTL.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Flexibility and heterogeneous support were our top considerations. We needed a solution that could integrate into our existing storage environment. Because we duplex storage hardware components for backup stability and high availability, the solution had to work in our active-active configuration. Furthermore, we needed a way to migrate data onto tape libraries without placing a heavy load on servers. Remote backup VTL functionality was another requirement. We tested multiple products in house and found that FalconStor's solution exceeded our requirements. With their tape caching, data could be migrated to disk without impacting the day-to-day workload or forcing our staff to migrate data over the weekend. Also, the FalconStor product has extensive support for a wide variety of tape libraries, tape drives and backup environments. Thus, it easily fit into our environment with minimal changes.

DELIVERABLES: When we performed our first backup of the EDW using VTL, the processing speed averaged 100 to 125MB per second for each FC port in the system's servers. If a simultaneous backup job was conducted by using eight sets of EDW servers, backup performance reached an impressive 5.5TB per hour. We can now back up during the evening within reduced backup windows and migrate to physical tape during daily work hours without impacting operations, greatly increasing tape-drive utilization. Tape-drive efficiency has improved by as much as 90 percent, resulting in immediate hardware cost savings.

VENDOR SUPPORT: FalconStor was extremely helpful throughout the selection and implementation process. FalconStor provides us with first-class service and support as well as valuable technology.

DOCUMENTATION: The user guide is straightforward and comprehensive.

FalconStor VirtualTape
Library (VTL)
FalconStor Software
2 Huntington Quadrangle
Suite 2S01
Melville, NY 11747
(631) 777-5188

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