REVIEWER: Jeremy Lawrence, director of IT for the Mind Research Network (MRN).

BACKGROUND: MRN is an independent nonprofit dedicated to helping people by improving the diagnosis of mental illness and brain disorders and helping people in the future by finding methods of prevention, better treatments and, ultimately, cures. Areas of study include traumatic brain injury, psychopathy, addiction, schizophrenia and other neurological conditions. The organization consists of an interdisciplinary association of scientists located at universities, national laboratories and research centers around the world.

PLATFORMS: Windows, Linux and Mac OS.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Our storage requirements are huge. Data is a critical element of MRN’s brain study research. A gigabyte of data acquired by a scientist will triple in size after being processed and analyzed. Researchers are collecting and analyzing 2TB of data per month, and we are currently managing more than 50 long-term neuroimaging studies and their associated data, which includes everything from MRI, EEG and DNA data to written and videotaped subject interviews. Studies typically range in length from two to eight years, and the raw and analyzed data must remain accessible during that time. Lacking a consolidated company-wide data protection strategy, all our research data was at great risk. With each research unit responsible for managing its own data, backups were often ignored because it cut into researchers’ time and interrupted their work. BakBone’s NetVault: Backup data protection solution helped us overcome these challenges by enabling us to overhaul our IT operations, incorporate integrated data protection and ensure the accessibility and reliability of our data.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: NetVault: Backup captures data from the many different sources inside our organization, including raw imaging data, raw genetic data, analyzed and processed research data, patient records and interviews, and finance and HR data. The data is then backed up to our tape libraries. All our storage is set up on network attached storage (NAS), which keeps our data contained inside the data center. We have seen many benefits from using NetVault: Backup. Data is easily and quickly recovered using the NetVault: Backup graphical user interface (GUI), helping keep research on track and minimizing downtime. This is an extremely valuable asset, especially considering the time and expense required to acquire all our data. Ease of use is another big plus for us. We protect 40TB of data with NetVault: Backup. The solution was easy to install and requires very minimal time to manage it, typically a few hours per week. Also, NetVault: Backup supports all of the operating systems at the organization. Reduced administrative time is another key benefit of NetVault: Backup, enabling us to spend less time on data protection and turn our focus to other projects. With NetVault: Backup, our data backups are invisible to the researchers, and the data protection strategy keeps the data organized, accessible and 100 percent recoverable.

STRENGTHS: The product is very simple to install and easy to maintain, running seamlessly in the background. Recoveries are not only easy, but reliable and fast. The heterogeneous capabilities match our unique environment, and the product provides powerful protection.

WEAKNESSES: The product needs to provide more granular VMware support.

SELECTION CRITERIA: NetVault: Backup met our heterogeneous environment needs, was easy to install and could handle our large amount of data. We needed a solution that was powerful and would give us the peace of mind that our research projects would be uninterrupted.

DELIVERABLES: Deliverables include data recovery of all company-wide research and data and significantly reduced administration time.

VENDOR SUPPORT: BakBone was very helpful during the entire implementation process. They came to our site to install the software and help us get up and running. They have been here five times helping with installations, including when we added a NAS device. Post-implementation has included the same high level of support. BakBone customer support always answers our technical questions quickly. The few times we needed technical support, BakBone helped us work through everything and get any issues resolved within the backup window.

DOCUMENTATION: BakBone’s documentation is very clear and easy to understand. We also turn to BakBone’s online knowledge base for troubleshooting.

BakBone’s NetVault: Backup
BakBone Software, Inc.
9540 Towne Centre Drive
Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92121
(858) 450-9009

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