REVIEWER: Desmond Fuller, IT director for iBiquity Digital Corp.

BACKGROUND: iBiquity Digital Corporation provides the AM and FM broadcasting industry with high definition (HD) radio. This broadcasting technology allows digital radio signals to ride the same frequencies as analog AM/FM radio, offering audiences CD-like sound and increasing the number of channels. iBiquity is the only FCC-approved HD radio provider and is actively engaged with broadcasters, receiver component and broadcast equipment manufacturers and retailers in the U.S. and around the world.

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Exchange Server, SQL Server, eight StoreVault S500 units, Veritas NetBackup and an Overland tape library with LTO2 tape drives.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We were dealing with overloaded, aging appliances. As HD radio adoption gained momentum and more stations came online, it meant more data on the air and tremendous storage growth. With 130 users and 30 servers, we had 36TB of data to manage. All of this could be requested by the FCC at any moment. Some of our servers were using direct attached storage (DAS) with its inherent issues - underutilization and downtime - whenever storage needed to scale. These local disks were spread across multiple servers, and we used Veritas NetBackup to back up these disks to tape. Performance and scheduling issues resulted in significant delays. In an attempt to alleviate this issue, mission-critical data was being copied using a different software to our New Jersey location for off-site data protection.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: StoreVault replication  reliably replicates mission-critical data from Maryland to New Jersey. This replication is done during off-peak hours, over a 4MB Ethernet link and yields significantly better results. StoreVault replication also performs intelligent partial transfers, eliminating the need for full retransfers when recovering from broken connections. Tape backup processes have been improved though the use of automatic snapshots, which allow the backups to occur at any time without impacting production performance. Users can restore their own data at any time from a snapshot, and tape backups are performed less frequently now, usually for archive purposes and not as a primary line of defense against lost data.

STRENGTHS: The StoreVault S500 provides the scalability we need for our explosive data growth. We've also gained simplicity in storage management and backup processes. StoreVault's advanced protection architecture makes it stronger, more resilient and a 10,000-fold improvement in reliability over its RAID 5 competitors. The StoreVault S500 has enabled us to achieve enterprise-level reliability, stability and functionality while maintaining a manageable budget. We started with two units and found immediate success, so we expanded to a total of eight production StoreVaults.

WEAKNESSES: We are a UNIX shop, and the Windows-based management utility is not our favorite. However, if we were Windows admins, we would like it better. We prefer a command line to a graphical user interface.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We were looking for a storage appliance that had a proven background but a lower cost than other products. We were willing to give up some of the fancy data center features, so we sought a product developed with the needs of a small to midsized business in mind. When NetApp announced the new StoreVault product line, it seemed like the perfect solution. StoreVault was built on NetApp's reliable Data ONTAP operating system, and it even offered replication and data management tools.

DELIVERABLES: We can now complete instant backups and restores without bringing down applications or inconveniencing users. StoreVault Snapshot technology allows us to complete our backups against a snapshot image at any time. We can keep up to 255 images so we can safely roll back to a prior point in time if needed.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Installing the new StoreVault S500 units was quick and painless. Our units came with a welcome letter that included login information for the StoreVault online support portal. StoreVault also provided an installation FAQ page and telephone support. While we didn't need the additional assistance, it was nice to have the option of step-by-step support.

DOCUMENTATION: StoreVault's documentation is complete and easy to understand. Documentation is kept online as well. The support portal is an excellent resource tool.

StoreVault S500
StoreVault, A Division of Network Appliance, Inc.
495 East Java Drive
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
(877) 278-7858

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