BACKGROUND: Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of Marietta, Georgia, a research-based pharmaceutical company active in women's health, mental health and gastroenterology, is a member of the worldwide Solvay Group of chemical and pharmaceutical companies, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

PLATFORMS: Solvay currently has a total of 18 Windows NT servers expanding to 21. They have standardized on the Compaq DeskPro 2000, ProLiant 800, 850R, 1000, 1500, 2000 and 2500R.The backup devices are two 8mm tape drives (one with a tape loader) and four 15/30 DLTs to backup more than 125GB of disk space.

PROBLEM SOLVED: After replacing the legacy VAX machines with a small Windows NT network, Solvay's goal was to find the best automated backup solution. The backup solution required a "lights out" automated function, and support for Solvay's existing backup label system needed to be easy-to-use and reliable with minimal manual intervention. Cutting down administration time was crucial. Solvay chose Seagate Backup Exec because of Seagate Software's knowledge of and commitment to the Windows NT platform. The network administrator was able to set up the backup schedule as needed, executing full backups every night, using a tape autoloader which accommodates Solvay's unique tape-labeling system.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Seagate Backup Exec is functioning exceptionally well for Solvay. Windows NT servers have been added to support more than 600 users in three locations. As the network became more distributed, we wanted to manage backup centrally. Using Seagate ExecView, the storage management console, we monitor all aspects of backup across the network. Seagate ExecView collects real-time statistics and reports from Seagate Backup Exec installations to provide users with the full remote monitoring and direct administration. The Intelligent Disaster Recovery Option, a multi-platform, full-enterprise disaster-protection solution, recovers servers protected by Seagate Backup Exec promptly and includes integrated error checking.

STRENGTHS: The features of Seagate Backup Exec that Solvay favor include: certified compatibility with Microsoft Windows NT, an integrated GUI, reliable protection for mission-critical data, time saving "lights-out" automation with minimal manual intervention, extensive remote management capabilities with Seagate ExecView, Intelligent Disaster Recovery and speed improvements.

WEAKNESSES: For Seagate Backup Exec version 6.x users, the move to version 7.x may be a little confusing, but the 7.x interface is much cleaner. The wizards included are very helpful and can definitely aid in the migration process from version 6.x to 7.x. Scheduled jobs and interactive backup jobs are maintenance free. The restoration process is sometimes difficult, especially when trying to locate files from multiple dates. Speed improvements are noticeable, especially when performing network backups, but are only available with incremental and differential backups. Seagate ExecView monitors the status of backup servers across the enterprise and is a huge help when limited resources require monitoring servers in different locations and for multiple servers in the same location. The only problem is version 6.x of Seagate ExecView could not monitor version 7.x servers and vice versa.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Having just made the move to Windows NT, Solvay wanted to go with a trusted company whose solution would phase in easily. Seagate Backup Exec is the solution because it supports Solvay's tape-labeling system and it is trusted by Microsoft.

DELIVERABLES: Solvay is constantly involved in research and development, and protecting data is a mission-critical function for IS. Some of Solvay's studies last for several years. Losing this data would be crippling.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The telephone support from Seagate Software has been very good. The automated call-handling system prevents long waits in the call queue, and the menu system sends callers directly into the specific product queue. Wait times in the individual queues are minimal except after a new version is released. The support personnel have been professional and very helpful. They seem very well versed in the product, different backup technologies and applications.

DOCUMENTATION: Seagate Backup Exec is so easy to use, it runs without documentation. On-line help alleviates the need for hard-copy documentation.

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