A California county goes nuts for Galaxy storage app

In Fresno County, Calif., the nation's top source of apricots, grapes and nuts, data storage used to be as scattered as crops across the valley.

With 7,500 users linked by a WAN covering thousands of square miles, about 500G had to be backed up on 220 servers every night, said Chad Schmidt, lead administrator for enterprise backup systems.

The IT staff decided to centralize backup at the main data center. For the mostly Microsoft Windows applications, they chose Galaxy backup software from CommVault Systems Inc. of Oceanport, N.J.

Needs will double

The company's Vault98 software was already in use to back up the county's Oracle8i and Oracle9i databases on Unix servers.

The county's databases hold payroll, election services, criminal justice and juvenile probation data, and Schmidt said he expects that the storage needs will double in the next two years.

In August 2000, Galaxy went into production on a 4.5T Fibre Channel array consisting of a Dell PowerEdge 6400 quad-processor server, one Dell PowerVault 650F storage cabinet and 11 PowerVault 630F units, totaling 120 hard drives.

'Backup is exponentially faster,' Schmidt said. 'Our restores are five to 10 times faster than before.' The 220 servers can be backed up in less than an hour. Before, it took all night.

'To run Vault98, we needed a highly trained Unix specialist,' Schmidt said. 'Galaxy runs in a Windows environment, and administrators are already familiar with Windows.'

The county also decided to standardize on Dell PCs. 'When our staff is familiar with one brand, it takes less time to correct problems,' he said.

The WAN has seven T3 circuits and a Gigabit Ethernet connection provided by SBC Communications Inc. of San Antonio, so network bandwidth is not going to be a problem, Schmidt said.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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