REVIEWER: John Foelker, senior systems analyst for LTD Financial Services.

BACKGROUND: LTD Financial Services, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a service organization representing some of the largest banks and financial institutions in the world. LTD opened its doors in October 1993 with four people and has grown to more than 750 people with a satellite office in San Antonio, Texas.

PROBLEM SOLVED: In the financial services industry, securing customer data is critical. Our customers require that the client data they share with us is safe from theft, fraud and deletion. In an effort to surpass their expectations, we began shopping for a new approach to back up this data, archive it and prepare for disaster recovery. We were looking for a disk-to-disk storage solution that would do all of these things while automating our backup processes and freeing up valuable personnel time. A new backup solution would also help us receive a valuable industry certification from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), one more step in alleviating any customer concerns about any unsecured data.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: LTD Financial Services implemented the STORServer D10000 Backup Appliance, a platform-neutral, LAN-friendly, all-in-one storage appliance that houses everything - the server, software, disk, tape, integration and support - needed for a complete storage solution. The STORServer D-Series Appliance leverages disk-to-disk technology by using disk for both the cache and online storage pools. The cache pool holds two to three days of incremental changes, while the online storage pool holds a full copy of the data within the customer environment. With the online pool, the only tape management required is for off-site disaster recovery. The creation of these tapes is an automated process within the STORServer.

STRENGTHS: We were impressed by how effortless the implementation of the STORServer Backup Appliance was. Within a few hours of the installation, we were backing up client data. The appliance is very powerful (holding from 500 gigabytes to more than 14 terabytes), and we're pleased that we have room to grow with a system that can expand with us. We wanted a solution that we wouldn't have to replace in a few years, and we found it with STORServer. The appliance approach to backup has also been a benefit. Only having one product and one company to work with for all our network storage needs and support has been a plus. STORServer gave us a complete solution that has fulfilled all our goals - our customer's data is secure, and we've saved valuable personnel time in the process. We no longer have individuals running individual server backups; everything is now within the administrator's control, just where we need it.

WEAKNESSES: Limited bare metal restore.

SELECTION CRITERIA: With the help of our value-added reseller, Gloria Hill & Associates, we considered working with separate components based on Tivoli Storage Manager. However, we determined it didn't make sense to invest the additional time and support it would require when STORServer's appliance combined all the parts we needed in its appliance.

DELIVERABLES: Administrators now only spend approximately 30 minutes per day managing the backup, archive and disaster recovery solution. This even includes the time it takes to change the disaster recovery tapes. Considering how many workstations we back up, it is phenomenal to spend only a half an hour a day to manage the solution. We are backing up quickly and effortlessly every night.

VENDOR SUPPORT: STORServer has done an excellent job of supporting and educating us. Many times the support person we deal with is the same person who installed our system, so he has real knowledge of our system. There is a great deal of knowledge transfer that occurs during an install, and the certified STORServer consultants encouraged us to get involved in each step of the implementation process. They even invited us to attend a three-day training class in Colorado Springs, which proved to be a great way to learn a lot in a short amount of time.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is complete and easy to understand. If we ever have any questions, we know STORServer is just a phone call away.

STORServer D10000 Backup Appliance
STORServer, Inc.
485-B Elkton Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
(719) 266-8777

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