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American Academy of Dermatology "Caches In" with CloudArray to Improve Offsite Backup and Recovery
The price of storage and online data backup is steadily decreasing with the proliferation of cloud storage providers. As a result, more and more companies are reassessing their use of time-honored methods and resources for offsite data protection. Increasingly, cloud storage is replacing expensive disk-to-disk and disk-to-tape solutions as small and medium size companies acknowledge cloud storage as a viable option. For IT organizations with limited resources and declining budgets, cloud storage provides tremendous cost and efficiency advantages. Companies seriously considering cloud storage do so because they have seen the introduction of the necessary technology advancements - virtualization, data reduction, and dynamic caching - to simplify cloud storage adoption in the marketplace today. Beyond ease of deployment, companies are looking to vendors for solutions that best preserve data availability and control, deliver acceptable performance, and provide unbounded scale and flexibility that match their requirements and can keep pace with business growth.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), an organization that provides continuing medical education for dermatologists and consumers, made the business decision to implement a cloud storage model in place of tape in order to improve reliability and speed for their backup and archive needs. Having selected ATT Synaptic Storage as a Service as their cloud storage platform, AAD asked ATT to recommend an enterprise-class offsite data protection solution that offered simplicity, security, and a host of other features to meet their business needs. ATT recommended TwinStrata’s CloudArray® as the one solution that could meet and exceed all of AAD’s offsite data protection requirements. Given the criticality for AAD to stay in synch with backup schedules and other IT projects in progress, the deployment of the end-to-end solution had to be quick and painless.
AAD was able to download, install, and configure TwinStrata’s CloudArray virtual appliance, provision two 1TB volumes, and connect to ATT in less than an hour demonstrating its ease of use and elegant simplicity. The ability to bring CloudArray online rapidly had much to do with its built-in integration with ATT Synaptic storage, virtualization-ready architecture, simple thin provisioning and caching configuration features, and flexible, straightforward iSCSI backend integration with any file system and application. Choosing CloudArray also allowed AAD to preserve their investment in ArcServe backup software as no changes to existing configuration or backup policies were required. Additionally, AAD had very positive experiences using CloudArray for fast file and bare metal restores.
With an initial 200GB backup volume and plans to increase to 5TB over time, AAD will be deploying a CloudArray physical appliance, adding more local storage cache to support their expected backup growth to ATT Synaptic. With capacity on their existing SAN at a premium, a CloudArray appliance makes an ideal solution, particularly as performance is considerably faster and more reliable than any tape device they were using.
The positive effect of CloudArray on AAD’s IT operations has been immediate. Reduced backup speeds of 50%, the simplicity of iSCSI to look like any other drive, the demonstrated consistency and reliability, and the ease with which CloudArray integrated with their backup software and cloud storage provider have eased the demand on both the IT budget as well as the people.
“CloudArray delivers very sophisticated technology with inherent simplicity, making the installation and configuration a piece of cake. Because it was so simple to install and configure, we were able to reap the benefits of using cloud storage immediately. But as affordable as CloudArray is, saving money was not our primary motivation for implementing it. We really were impressed with our trial experience - the combination of CloudArray and cloud storage delivers superior reliability as compared to tape and we get to preserve accessibility and control of the data we are storing in the cloud. The integration of ATT Synaptic and CloudArray could not have been easier. Bottom line, we are extremely pleased with our choice, the ease and speed in which it all came together and the results we are seeing.” - Tom Imholz, IT Manager.
TwinStrata CloudArray has become an integral IT solution for AAD, providing dependable offsite data protection without continuous investment in onsite storage infrastructure or changes to existing environments. Their experience with CloudArray to date and its ability to work in diverse IT infrastructures has resulted in AAD moving forward to create an offsite disaster recovery/business continuity strategy between their Washington D.C. and Schaumburg, IL branch offices using CloudArray.