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New disk-to-tape technology enables 3Com Europe to consolidate backup operations and reduce the size of the backup window by 40%

Advanced Digital Information Corporation (Nasdaq: ADIC) today announced that 3Com Europe, based in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, has chosen the Pathlight VX disk-to-tape backup solution to consolidate backup operations of two discrete departments. In doing so it has increased its backup performance to the extent that 3Com has reduced the time required to backup its data by 40%.

3Com’s investment in the new disk-to-tape based backup is part of a revamp of its storage strategy. For its backup system it replaced a conventional DLT tape library with a system that combined an ADIC Pathlight VX backup solution and an ADIC Scalar 100 Linear Tape Open (LTO) tape library.

Pathlight VX is an innovative integrated disk-to-tape backup solution that combines the speed and efficiency of disk-based backup with the cost and portability benefits of tape. With the Pathlight VX, data is backed up to disk from where it is automatically written to tape in the background, easing pressure on backup windows. It can also be plugged straight into an existing IT infrastructure, where it appears to the system as one or more logical tape libraries.

3Com’s Hemel Hempstead office is the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters, with an IT department providing services to users across the region. It is also an important R&D base, where 3Com engineers work on developing the company’s application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) products.

Satnam Bains and the 3Com’s EMEA Technical Services team, decided to amalgamate the backup operations of these two departments, in order to eliminate duplicated backup infrastructures, prevent the backup window from expanding in the face of growing data, comply with new email retention legislation and generate cost savings.

3Com Europe had initially considered moving to disk-only storage based on a Serial ATA array, but found that nothing was as convenient or cost-efficient as the Pathlight VX. “It fits into our systems even better than we expected,” said Bains. “It just plugged straight into our environment and worked seamlessly with our existing Legato back-up software, so there was no disruption.”

Within days of implementing the Pathlight VX, 3Com’s Bains noticed significant improvements in a variety of areas. “The Pathlight product delivers massively improved write speeds, meaning that although the aim was to maintain the size of our backup window, we’ve actually been able to reduce it by around 40 per cent,” he said.

Besides nearly doubling 3Com’s backup performance, the new system will also provide significant savings on overall tape media costs since more data is stored on the LTO media and not all the backup data is automatically written to tape. 3Com writes full backups at regular intervals and backs up incremental changes daily. The combined Pathlight VX-Scalar 100 system allows them to export tapes containing the full backups for disaster recovery and security protection, but to leave the daily backups on disk for rapid recovery.


“We selected the Pathlight VX because it presents itself to the system as a high performance tape library and its ability to create real LTO tapes in the background without impacting our media servers,” explained, 3Com’s EMEA Technical Services manager. “Overall, we have almost doubled our backup performance and halved our media costs, and have an efficient and solid data storagebackup and disaster recovery strategy.”


The Pathlight VX was provided to 3Com Europe by Kingswell, an enterprise reseller of ADIC and other storage technologies. Kingswell conducted the implementation and provides ongoing product support. The Pathlight VX is being used to backup messaging, file and engineering applications, running on a variety of server platforms ranging from Intel, RISC and Network Appliance based systems.

Steve Mackey, Product Marketing Director, ADIC EMEA, said that 3Com’s experience demonstrates the value of integrated backup technologies to modern data-driven corporations. “There is a real pressure to store more data while at the same time keeping backup windows under control and IT costs as low as possible,” he said. “The Pathlight VX provides the best of both worlds by delivering the write speeds of disk-based backup without any of the cost or disruption associated with implementing a whole new storage infrastructure.”

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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 storage management software and storage networking appliances 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 www.adic.com.

ADIC and Scalar are registered trademarks and Intelligent Storage and Intelligent Storage Solutions are trademarks of Advanced Digital Information Corporation. All other product or company names should be considered the property of their owners.
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About Kingswell
Kingswell is a leading interdependent provider of Data*Management solutions in the UK. For more information please visit www.kingswell.co.uk.

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