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Sovereign Bank

Sovereign Bank (NYSE: SOV) is one of those aggressive banks that keeps growing through acquisitions, picking up three banks in the last year alone.

All that gobbling taxed its tape backup capacity, leading corporate networking operations manager Joe Ambrosino to get more aggressive about backups. Sovereign has about 530 branch offices throughout the Northeast, with data centers in Dorchester, Mass.; E. Providence, R.I.; and at corporate headquarters in Wyomissing, Pa. Around 150 of the offices joined Sovereign since October 2002.

Ambrosinos is a Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) shop with an Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA 5000) SAN. Late last year, he found his HP MSL 5026 tape libraries and DLT 8000 drives weren’t fast enough to handle the extra load. That led him to install a virtual tape library, but only after exploring other options.

“Tape duplication was a problem with the DLT 800s – they were really struggling,” Ambrosino says. “Our goal is to get tape offsite on the same business day. We need the [offsite vaulting company] Iron Mountain guy carrying them out the same day.”

Last November Ambrosino looked at ways he could improve backup speed. He considered faster LTO tape libraries, but they would not work with his DLT tape and he didn’t want to scrap his existing libraries. He thought about using his Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) NetBackup software to back up to disk, but heard bad things about software-based disk backup.

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