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University of Central Lancashire chooses ADIC's Scalar i2000 to perform faster and more reliable backups

Backup time cut by two-thirds, while reliability is improved and the system is designed to expand with the IT network

11 November 2004 - The University of Central Lancashire (uclan) is the latest organisation to improve the reliability and timeliness of its data backups using a Scalar i2000 automated tape library from Advanced Digital Information Corporation (Nasdaq: ADIC). Using the Scalar i2000, the university has been able to increase the reliability of its backups, save manpower expended in the backup process and reduce its backup window by two thirds.

Uclan is the UK's fifth largest university by student population, with nearly 35,000 students and 2,500 staff creating 2.5 terabytes of data to be backed up. On its main campus in Preston alone, the university has 3,500 PCs and 150 servers to back up.

The university was concerned about its existing backups taking up to 36 hours and was unhappy with the poor reliability of the existing system, which often resulted in rework. "We wanted to see a dramatic increase in the reliability of the backups," said the university’s head of operations Simon McCann. "All too frequently in the past, the tape drives would stop writing mid-backup leaving my team and I to retrieve the backed up data and commence the backup again."

The university worked with ADIC reseller PlumData in choosing and implementing the new solution, which combined VERITAS NetBackup software with the ADIC Scalar i2000 tape library. PlumData won the contract in a competitive tender against 14 other companies.

The university's priorities were to reduce the backup window, to improve reliability and to ensure the investment could scale with the organisation. "We wanted to ensure that whatever solution we put in place would be future proofed to handle the increasing demands of data from the growing number of students, PCs and servers," said McCann.

The Scalar i2000 supports capacity-on-demand scalability, a feature pioneered by ADIC which allows users to change the capacity of the library in response to changing needs in the organisation. The Scalar i2000 starts with as few as 100 tape positions, which can be increased in 100 tape increments to a maximum of over 2,000 tapes, depending on the drive technology selected.

“We designed the Scalar i2000 to help data centre managers upgrade their data protection easily in the face of fast, but unpredictable data growth and tightening budgets,” said Christo Conidaris, regional director for ADIC. “We made sure that our design allows users to preserve the long-term value of their investments in physical resources, network infrastructure, backup applications, and storage media. That means letting users support different backup applications and operating systems with a single library, maximise the use of their existing physical resources, easily grow the library with their data, and reduce the time spent integrating and operating external programs.”

The Scalar i2000 incorporates ADIC's iPlatform architecture, which reduces the need for external applications by providing built-in support for a broad range of data centre requirements. Functions integrated in the iPlatform library include native partitioning of a single library into multiple logical libraries, mixed media operation, native Fibre Channel connectivity, advanced performance monitoring, proactive system readiness checks, self-guided diagnostics, and policy-based user alerts using standard email and pager networks.

The backup solution has now gone live and has been proven to be reliable with no more aborted backup jobs. The backup window has been cut to a third, resulting in manpower and cost savings. Using NetBackup and the Scalar i2000, the solution is designed to expand with the University's IT network.

Leigh Clark, PlumGroup sales director said: "We are delighted to have been selected by the University of Central Lancashire to help them improve the efficiency and reliability of their data backup systems.”

He added: "PlumData has a sound understanding of the issues and pains facing enterprises of all sizes, and our strong partnerships with leading storage vendors enable us to create leading-edge solutions which bring real business benefits and return on investment."

About ADIC
Advanced Digital Information Corporation (NASDAQ: ADIC) is a leading provider of Intelligent Storage™ solutions to the open systems marketplace. ADIC is the world’s largest supplier of automated tape systems using the drive technologies most often employed for backing up open system, client-server networks.* The Company’s data management software, storage networking appliances, and disk-to-tape data protection solutions provide IT managers innovative tools for storing, managing and protecting their most valuable digital assets in a variety of disk and tape environments. ADIC storage products are available through a worldwide sales force and a global network of resellers and OEMs, including Cray, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, IBM and Sun. Further information about ADIC is available at

*Market share data from Gartner Dataquest, Tape Automation Systems Market Shares, 2003, F. Yale, April 2004. ADIC and Pathlight are registered trademarks and Intelligent Storage is a trademark of Advanced Digital Information Corporation. EMC and CLARiiON are registered trademarks of EMC Corporation. All other trade or service marks mentioned in this document should be considered the property of their respective owners.
About PlumData
PlumData is an independent storage solutions provider and is an ADIC partner and reseller. PlumData works with the world’s leading storage brands and software tools to help organisations to consolidate, share and protect their information.

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