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Starz Turns to CommVault’s QiNetix DataArchiver for FastRetrieval of Critical E-Mail Messages

Published
  • July 01 2005, 1:00am EDT

CommVault QiNetix DataArchiverREVIEWER: Jason Bebensee, Windows system administrator for Starz Entertainment Group.
 
BACKGROUND: With offerings including the popular Starz and Encore channels available on cable, satellite and broadband, the Starz Entertainment Group LLC (SEG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, is the largest provider of premium movie services in the U.S.

PLATFORMS: We run CommVault QiNetix DataArchiver on Windows Server 2003 operating system, on a dual processor HP ProLiant DL360 server.

PROBLEM SOLVED: SEG has many contracts with production studios and program providers. When legal or contractual questions come up, we need to be able to efficiently retrieve relevant e-mail messages between SEG and our business partners. Previously, we used traditional solutions to make nightly full backups of our Microsoft Exchange e-mail servers. To retrieve messages, we had to find the backup tape for the days in question, catalog the information onto a spare server with enough capacity, restore the data to an offline server and then search for specific messages in Outlook. This process took a long time, and it did not work very well. The people making the requests were not getting what they wanted, and it was very frustrating for IT. In addition, if someone deleted an e-mail before the backup was done, it was gone. We needed a more reliable and efficient solution.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Now we use CommVault QiNetix DataArchiver for Exchange to archive our e-mail. DataArchiver goes into Exchange every night and indexes every word of every e-mail and attachment, transforming the data into searchable information. DataArchiver preserves all the messages, and it lets us search on various types of criteria (such as key words, subject, recipient, etc.). The search pulls back the original e-mail, even if it had already been deleted. Before we implemented DataArchiver, trying to gather e-mail was a difficult, three-step process. Now it's a one-step process. We receive a notification from the litigation department. We go in and search e-mail by the criteria they give us, and DataArchiver presents us with the retrieved e-mails that meet the criteria. For a recent legal discovery, in two days we retrieved far more information than we could have in two months prior to DataArchiver.

STRENGTHS: DataArchiver is easy to use. You simply right click, go to find, select your date range, put in your search criteria and restore the messages. Users can even search without help from IT. There is little to no impact to the e-mail system because jobs are run on a separate server during non-peak times. CommVault's products are also reliable. Often, I don't even need to think about maintenance; it runs on its schedule, and I know it's doing what it's supposed to.

WEAKNESSES: I would like CommVault to provide indexing of files on a NAS that utilizes NDMP so that we can perform searches against documents as easily as e-mail. We are going to use NDMP Backup Streams to back up the NAS, and CommVault does not yet support indexing for this.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We needed something easier than what we had been using (a combination of IBM Tivoli Storage Manager and VERITAS Backup Exec) and something that we could train users to use without the help of IT. We also looked at Legato, but other customers' feedback revealed that CommVault is a more stable, reliable and all around better product.

DELIVERABLES: When we perform a search, DataArchiver tells us how many e-mail messages are in the retrieval and shows how many have been retrieved so far. When e-mail messages are retrieved, I usually put them in a mailbox where the requestor can access them, or we can write them to a CD and hand it over.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We're very happy with CommVault support. They follow up and try to solve the problem without just giving a generic answer. Best of all, if there is no known solution to the question or problem, they go to work and make one.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation includes a pre-installation guide and a quick start guide. They don't need much documentation, but could use an instructional manual. Once we understood the simple navigation, we were able to teach our legal department how to use it.

CommVault QiNetix DataArchiver
CommVault Systems, Inc.
2 Crescent Place
Oceanport, NJ 07757
732-870-4000
www.commvault.com

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