|MAJOR PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY SAFE FROM DATA DISASTER THANKS TO ULTERA
LAGUNA HILLS, Calif., November 29, 1999....
Ultera Systems, the leading tape array controller and tape array system supplier,
announced today that Ameren, one of the countrys largest public energy utility
companies, has deployed Ulteras ShadowMaster tape controller technology for
their data protection and recovery needs.
Ameren formerly Union Electric serves more than 1
million customers in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. To keep operations running on a 24/7
basis and to prevent catastrophic data loss, Amerens corporate policy requires
duplicate copies of all backup tapes so that one copy can be kept off-site in case of a
catastrophic data loss.
Amerens computer installation at the companys St. Louis headquarters
encompasses 1500 nodes with 120 heterogeneous file servers running NetWare*, Windows NT*,
Sun Solaris* and HP-UX*. All departmental data, along with custom applications developed
for time reporting, customer service systems and outage management, is backed up nightly
to two Hewlett Packard LXe Pro* servers, with each server handling backups for 60 file
servers. The installation generates a nightly incremental backup load of up to 100 GB, and
400 to 500 GB backups for the weekly full system backups. Each backup server connects to
two Storage Technology 9714* tape libraries containing 100 tapes, and equipped with four
or six DLT7000 tape drives using Legato NetWorker* software for backup automation.
Amerens IT staff sought to satisfy the corporate policy of duplicate backup tapes
by using the tape cloning feature within NetWorker, which provides off-line tape-to-tape
copy functions after the backup process is complete. While NetWorkers tape cloning
feature performed as expected in creating a set of off-site backup tapes, it also
presented a challenge, according to Vance Bufalo, Senior Engineer in Networking
Engineering at Ameren. "My servers are doing so much work every night and the
off-site tape has to be ready for pickup by 11 a.m. I did not have time to do the backup
at night and do the tape-to-tape copy in the morning before the vendor showed up to pick
up the tapes," said Bufalo.
"The other problem I ran into is that the two tape systems support approximately
1,500 users in our main office complex and we do recovers on a daily basis. If the tape
drives are tied up doing tape-to-tape copies in the morning, then those drives are not
available for tape recovers. With the Ultera solution, I get true tape mirroring:
real-time copy so that as the first tape is being written, the second tape is being
created at the same time."
Ulteras ShadowMaster mirrored tape architecture simultaneously writes data to a
mirrored set of tape drives, automatically creating a duplicate set of tapes in the time
it takes to do the original backup in essence a RAID-1 environment that solved
Amerens backup window issue. "A company such as Ameren cannot afford data loss
and yet often cannot afford the time to adequately protect itself. The ShadowMaster
controllers enable Ameren to create tapes for off-site storage without compromising its
24/7 operation," said Fred Bedard, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Ultera
"We defined our requirements and Ultera worked with us to design a system that met
our specific needs. What Ultera gave us is real-time mirroring, off-site copies that are
ready by 11:00 a.m., and we can do all of our data recovers from the on-site tape library
for the past 30 days without any tape handling by the operators."
Ultera offered Ameren a RAIL (Redundant Array of Independent Libraries) approach to
their tape storage needs. The RAIL solution a concept pioneered by Ultera
mirrors a pair of StorageTek 9714 libraries, with one library dedicated to storing on-site
tapes and the other used exclusively for tapes for off-site storage. Each pair of mirrored
drives is driven by a dedicated ShadowMaster controller, and another ShadowMaster manages
the robotic media changers in each library. Amerens RAIL solution is designed so
that it is impossible to perform any backup operations without creating the required
off-site set of tapes. "We never want to have a broken pair on a mirrored tape,"
Ameren recently implemented an Ultera-based library solution on a larger scale,
deploying an identical mirrored-library configuration using Ultera controllers with a
Hewlett Packard HP9000 K-Class* Enterprise Server running HP-UX with two STK 9710
libraries. Each library accommodates 512 tape slots and 10 DLT7000 drives.
"Were doing the same thing only on a much larger scale with UNIX* and the
bigger libraries," said Bufalo. Another plan is to incorporate Ultera mirroring
controllers with large-scale Storage Technology Powderhorn* libraries for Amerens
continually expanding data requirements and not for the backups of the corporation's 5,000
"Weve used Ultera for our past tape requirements, our present and now
were looking to Ultera for the future," Bufalo said.
About Ultera Systems
Ultera Systems, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of RAID Tape Array controllers and
subsystems designed for high-speed backup, archive and high-speed data acquisition
applications. All industry standard tape drives, tape libraries and storage management
software are compatible with the Ultera Arrays. Its tape array product lines are marketed
under the trade names "Striper," "Imager," "LibraryMaster"
and "ShadowMaster," and sold through OEMs, VARs and Systems Integrators
worldwide. Ultera is based in Laguna Hills, Calif.
For further information, call (949) 367-8800,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Ultera's web site at http://www.ultera.com.
* A trademark or trade name of an
entity other than Ultera Systems.
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