Sainsbury's overhauls data back-up systems to improve data management

Sainsbury's has overhauled its data back-up systems to improve data management and cut storage costs.

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Sainsbury's has overhauled its data back-up systems to improve data management and cut storage costs.

The supermarket chain brought in Shoden Data Systems to help plan and implement a new high-performance backup strategy for mainframe and open storage.

As a result the retailer is said to have lowered the costs, space requirements and energy consumption of the 250TB (terabytes) of backup data hosted within its IT infrastructure, while making backups run on time and with increased accuracy.

Shoden installed its QuickRecover system for combined mainframe and open systems environments in two data centres together with an open systems solution in a third location. As a result, the system integrator allowed Sainsbury’s to "significantly enhance its disaster recovery process while curbing rising costs and floor space requirements".

Tim Neale, Sainsbury's mainframe services lead, said, “We chose QuickRecover to address an immediate and growing set of problems."

He said ATL tape maintenance costs were rising rapidly, an aging infrastructure was approaching its end of life, and the operation was suffering "increasingly unreliable tape media". One of the data centres was also running out of floor space.

"Other vendors offered new or different tape-based solutions, but we were attracted to Shoden's bold approach to move us to disk-based backups, using best-of-breed technologies such as Data Domain and Luminex alongside its own management software,” said Neale.

Neale said Sainsbury's now enjoyed a "much, much faster write performance and a backup environment within which we can actually test our disaster recovery properly."

Shoden's approach of using just one configuration in a 19" rack to manage the entire mainframe environment and expanding open systems platforms was also attractive, he said.

The Shoden system generates daily, weekly and monthly reports on performance, de-duplication rates and quantity of data, and Sainsbury's is looking to expand its use into archiving.

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