REVIEWER: Royce Denton, senior systems engineer for Medtronic.

BACKGROUND: Medtronic is the world's leader in medical technology, providing lifelong solutions for people with chronic disease. With deep roots in the treatment of heart disease, Medtronic provides a wide range of products, services and therapies that enhance the lives of millions.

PLATFORMS: Medtronic's platforms include 15 Windows 2000 servers, 20 UNIX servers, Compaq ProLiant workstations running Linux, plus legacy Novell, UNIX and Solaris clients. In addition, Medtronic's system includes five Quantum ATL M1500 tape libraries, a Compaq SAN, an EMC Clariion SAN and an EMC Symmetrix SAN.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Prior to implementing the Quantum ATL M1500, Medtronic was running a mix of solutions. Administrators had their own designs for what each specific system needed for backup. If one server failed, we had to figure out what was being done on that particular server and fix the problem. Initially we set out to get all our data onto a new platform. We felt that doing backups across the network was the only reasonable solution because distributing tape drives everywhere was absurd. The next objective, after centralizing backup, was to create a heterogeneous shop. We needed to find a solution that would give us a centralized, enterprise scope and maintain that scope between one or two master servers. The most significant challenge for us was designing a system that could easily support multiple, heterogeneous operating systems. Upon implementation of the ATL M1500s, the system seamlessly incorporates Medtronic's platforms, which include Novell, Windows NT, Sun Solaris, UNIX and Linux.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The ATL M1500's modular design offers Medtronic the flexibility, scalability and ease of use it requires in an enterprise solution ­ without buying more storage than is initially needed. With its support for advanced drive technology, the ATL M1500 allows Medtronic to customize performance, capacity and host connectivity to suit its current and future needs.

STRENGTHS: The ATL M1500's strengths lie in its many design features and its ability to stack. As many as 10 units can be stacked on top of each other, operating as one library using the StackLink mechanism. Additionally, individual M1500s can be removed from the stack without interrupting operations. We are able to exchange cartridges between the drawers and stack them up using the StackLink. Other vendors' stackable devices require the user to eject cartridges from the mail slot and have an operator physically move it. Anytime you have human intervention, you have more room for error. In addition, the ATL M1500 requires minimal administration, is simple to manage and is easy to buy, deploy and use. The ATL M1500s are also responsible for a marked increase in Medtronic's system reliability, with total confidence in backup and restore operations.

WEAKNESSES: The first generation product has a larger bezel, which sticks out farther than Medtronic's second- generation units.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We were familiar with Quantum's product reliability, service and support, as one of our RAID devices has a local ATL P-Series tape library. Given our positive experiences with Quantum and the ATL M1500's impressive features, the choice was easy. Quantum is also dedicated to certification with leading independent software vendors, which is extremely important to Medtronic. We found that may companies offer a generic enclosure with DLT drives. They would put a little plaque on it and say, "We've got a backup system!" When I asked if it would work with VERITAS, they would say, "Well, it should." That is not the kind of guarantee we need for data protection.

DELIVERABLES: The Quantum ATL M1500-based solution supports all of Medtronic's enterprise systems for production, design and development in addition to standard office automation systems, such as Windows products and quality assurance testing systems.

VENDOR SUPPORT: One of the reasons Medtronic chose the ATL M1500 was because of the prompt and courteous attention we received from our Quantum salesperson. We were introduced to Quantum at a conference and were so impressed with what the salesperson and the ATL M1500 offered that we ordered five ATL M1500s configured as a single unit with the StackLink mechanism.

DOCUMENTATION: The product documentation is easy to read and understand. We were able to easily install the ATL M1500 by following the instructions in the installation guide. It was so simple that my colleague ordered and installed the same solution for his department.

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