REVIEWER: Gregg Paulk, director of information technologies for Anderson Center for Autism.

BACKGROUND: Anderson Center for Autism (ACA) is a nonprofit organization for individuals who exhibit a wide range of functional levels, skills and abilities, with moderate to severe learning, communicative and behavioral disorders associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). ACA makes great strides to ensure that its facilities, supportive atmosphere and variety of activities make life at the school the best it can be. The school is committed to enhancing the quality of each individual’s life while encouraging a desire to learn. ACA’s individualized care and services address each student’s diverse needs. The ACA was founded in 1924 in Staatsburg, New York.

PLATFORMS: ACA utilizes Microsoft Server 2003 for our servers and Windows XP for our workstations. The organization has a combination of NEC and Dell hardware and is now in the process of migrating to NEC’s Dynamic IT Infrastructure products as a primary hardware platform.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Despite being a nonprofit organization, ACA has aggressive growth plans. Standing in the way of growth was an antiquated and ineffective tape backup system, which was slow, often failed and most importantly, did not meet compliance regulations. Added to these issues was the problem of exponential data growth. It was clear that ACA lacked an appropriate infrastructure and document management system, so to address these issues ACA selected NEC’s HYDRAstor grid storage technology to unify backup and archiving functions. ACA implemented NEC’s HYDRAstor technology in under 68 minutes, and today has eliminated failed backups and reduced the backup window by 90 percent.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: By utilizing a grid storage architecture to unify backup and archiving functions, ACA has seen enhanced efficiency and cost savings even with colossal data growth. By storing backup and archive data on the same platform, ACA has also seen measurable operational benefits enabling broader search access across multiple data types, including backup, email archives and file archives. Deduplication now occurs across all data regardless of its origination, dramatically reducing the amount of storage capacity required and also reducing power and environmental costs. ACA’s IT organization can now effectively manage disk space and have the flexibility to set up one large backup or multiple granular jobs.

STRENGTHS: With these implementations, ACA now has a reliable and resilient backup and archive solution that gets the job done consistently, continually and with greater efficiency.

WEAKNESSES: HYDRAstor offers WAN-optimized replication for disaster recovery, which ACA’s IT organization would love to leverage for replicating to a second unit at another location. Unfortunately, as a nonprofit organization, the price of a comprehensive disaster recovery infrastructure is challenging.

SELECTION CRITERIA: ACA was looking for a disk-based backup and archive solution with deduplication as well as speed, reliability and cost-effectiveness that was also easy to manage and could seamlessly integrate with our existing backup and archive infrastructure. NEC’s HYDRAstor was a great fit.

DELIVERABLES: ACA has seen several measurable results, including the backup window reduced by 90 percent, no failed backups or restores, 44:1 data reduction for optimized storage capacity, quick implementation into existing environment, seamless integration with existing infrastructure – no “rip ‘n replace” needed, one platform for both backup and archive data, which reduced complexity and maximized deduplication efficiency and enhanced resiliency to protect deduplicated data.

VENDOR SUPPORT: ACA’s IT team has benefited greatly from having the opportunity to partner with a technological leader. NEC as a company has the most professional, knowledgeable, dependable, caring, committed and honorable team of people we’re ever partnered with.

DOCUMENTATION: The instructions were very simple to follow in order to integrate HYDRAstor into our network. The unit comes preassembled, so it was simply rolled off the truck, plugged into the network, input with some basic information and up and running.


NEC Corporation of America

6535 N. State Highway 161

Irving, Texas 75039-2402

(866) 632-3226

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