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Consolidating Data Management with Enterprise Storage and Backup Systems. Barry Ribbeck – Director, Systems, Architecture & Infrastructure, Rice University Hubert Daugherty – Manager, Digital Media Services, Rice University Susie McClure – Systems Analyst, Rice University. Rice University.

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consolidating data management with enterprise storage and backup systems

Consolidating Data Management with Enterprise Storage and Backup Systems

Barry Ribbeck – Director, Systems, Architecture & Infrastructure, Rice University

Hubert Daugherty – Manager, Digital Media Services, Rice University

Susie McClure – Systems Analyst, Rice University

rice university
Rice University

Carnegie R1 Designation

Ranked in the top 25 schools in US

~ 5000 Students

~ 1100 Faculty

~ 1500 Staff

enterprise storage and backups
Enterprise Storage and Backups
  • Enterprise - a distributed resource provided centrally
  • Storage - a place to put your stuff
  • Backup - Describes what you are doing when you are not moving forward. When it works, it can be incorporated into your career progressions plan.
a large new network project
A Large New Network Project
  • Provided a funding opportunity
  • Defined storage as part of the critical need
  • Provided the required network infrastructure for enterprise storage (Data can live anywhere)
  • A fresh look at technologies for enterprise storage and backups
data assessment findings
Data Assessment Findings
  • Many distributed resources managed inconsistently
  • No consistent backup strategy
  • Few economies of scale
  • Data management plan – buy more disks
  • Growth Rate of digital storage needs was increasing
  • No differentiation of data retention or DR requirements
  • Old, outgrown and dying backup hardware
the available resources
The Available Resources
  • Very talented and knowledgeable staff
  • Funding
  • Support from administration
  • Understanding from the campus
the challenges
The Challenges
  • Changing EVERYTHING at once
  • In order to transition, we would have to keep 2 systems operational with the same amount of staff who are already over taxed with all of the other changes
  • New skill sets required to maintain new resources
goals
Goals
  • If possible, the changes MUST have a positive visible affect on the customers
  • Storage must be able to scale (1/2 PB in 7 years) with no step function costs.
  • Support for Information Lifecycle Management (ILM)
  • Must support a Multi-tiered storage model
  • Must be a model capable of integrating multi vendor storage
  • Support costs defined for 5 years
  • Staged backups with only full backups to Tape
rfp to storage vendors
RFP to Storage Vendors
  • SAN with NAS Gateway design defined
  • Invited 7 vendors to respond to the RFP
  • Very wide dispersion of cost vs benefit
  • Bluearc Titan carried the day with a big iron model and 50 TB of initial storage
defined storage usage
Defined Storage Usage
  • Email Mailbox storage (NO QUOTAS!)
  • Client Home directories and shares
    • 5000 students, 1000 faculty, 1500 staff, 1000+ guests (with quotas)
  • Database storage – Oracle, MSQL, Postgress (Sakai, Coldfusion,etc..)
  • Video Archives
  • Research Data Scratch space
backups
Backups
  • Remember Katrina & Rita?
  • Tape is like Listerine
  • We needed a MAID to clean up our backup processes
  • What about Disruptive Technologies?
  • Hardware choices
    • Copan Systems & Sun/StorageTek
  • Software choice
    • Commvault
storage details
Storage Details
  • San Storage components
    • Positives
      • Standards Based
      • Multiple vendors enable competition
    • Negatives
      • Difficult to modify SAN architecture
      • Expensive network components
    • Nas Gateway
      • Provides storage abstraction and management
systemic performance
Systemic Performance

Which System Elements Need Additional Optimization?

systemic performance14
Systemic Performance

Surprise, it’s the regular stuff!

systemic performance15
Systemic Performance

Dual 6509 frames with 2 dedicated 10G interlinks. One for layer 2 and one for layer 3.

what we learned
What we Learned
  • The integration of a lot of new technology took longer than anticipated even though all of the vendors supported well understood standards like NDMP.
  • Outsourcing the integration would have been a mistake due to the complexity and the need for in house knowledge.
bluearc lessons and vendor report
Bluearc Lessons and Vendor Report
  • Clients can’t compete
  • Outages MUST be coordinated with everything that uses the system
  • Clustered Titan nodes are a requirement
  • Vendor
    • Great support – very responsive, good technical people
    • Work well with other vendors
    • Problems we have worked through
      • NDMP, Replication, LDAP, still some to things to address, getting them to understand Enterprise in HE
copan lessons and vendor report
Copan Lessons and Vendor Report
  • Good Product very reliable
  • Good support team, works well with other vendors
  • Good hardware, very robust, are meeting their claims. 1 drive and 1 shelf failure in 1 year.
  • Software is solid for what we use it for
sun lessons and vendor report
Sun Lessons and Vendor Report
  • Very good support
  • Very good product.
  • Robot and disk drives failed and were replaced and were quickly replaced under support contract.
commvault lessons and vendor report
Commvault Lessons and Vendor report
  • Software difficult to get installed even with their professional services
  • Support is lacking in depth but they are very willing to work with us.
  • Windows backups work very well
  • Support works well with other vendors
  • Integration was very difficult and time consuming
  • Software patches were very frequent and problematic
  • Support tracking system is terrible
  • NDMP support is very challenging
  • When the product works, it works well
  • Documentation was poor
contact information references
Contact Information & References
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