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Users Talk File Virtualization

SAN DIEGO -- Storage Networking World -- File virtualization is opening the door to major cost savings and streamlined storage, according to CIOs and IT managers, but users should do their homework before deploying the technology. (See Storage Virtualization Edges On.)

Publishing firm Wiley has slashed its backup window from a day and a half to just one hour after deploying virtualization switches from Acopia, said James Sample, the firm's IT director, during a presentation yesterday. (See Virtually Changed Landscape, Acopia Unveils Software, and Acopia Snaps Across EMC NAS.)

Prior to virtualizing the data, Wiley used a CommVault solution to backup 25 Tybtes on four Cybernetics SCSI arrays. "What was 25 Tbytes is now 4 Gbytes," explained Sample, adding that this has cut the number of weekly backup tapes needed from 40 to just four. "That's $2,000 per week in cost savings," he added.

The exec explained that he looked at a number of file virtualization offerings, but Acopia won out on cost and security. "A lot of the one-size-fits-all solutions were too expensive for us -- I don't have the budgets that other sites have to put in a six-figure solution," he said.

Wiley rejected server-based offerings such as NeoPath for security management reasons, according to Sample. (See Cisco Nabs NeoPath and Acopia Plans NeoPath Buyback.) The exec explained that after patching 1,100 servers in the aftermath of the Blaster worms, he is keen to limit the number of servers in his infrastructure.

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