Data backup is disk-y business for Virginia agency

Kathy Ange, an IT specialist with Virginia's Agriculture and Consumer Services Department, has to back up 50G of data every night. She also is the department's mainframe systems administrator.

'If you don't have a good backup, you might as well not have the data to begin with,' Ange said.

Ange has been working with the state's mainframes for 15 years. Her problems are mostly of the 'panicky user' variety, she said. 'But you never know in the world we live in today. You always plan for disaster recoveries. Are we paranoid? We should be.'

Ange is migrating the department's data from an old mainframe running an Oracle database to a Sun server under Solaris.

Ange's department is grappling with the same problem every agency in the state is facing: Protecting data while dealing with a statewide budget crunch.

Unitrends Software Corp. of Myrtle Beach, S.C., offered a disk-to-disk data protection unit (DPU) that the department found to be affordable.

The protection unit also includes Unitrends BareMetal Plus software, which lets system administrators restore PCs or notebook computers within 10 minutes after a crash.

The department backs up its four Sun Solaris servers to the DPU. Every morning, the DPU syncs over to another disk.

Yesterday a user came to Ange after losing two files. 'It took longer to go through the graphical user interface screens to pick what I wanted to restore than it took to do the actual restore,' a little more than a minute, Ange said.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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