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June 15, 2012

EMC Data Domain Helps Mid-Continent Group Transform its IBM i Backup Infrastructure

By Sujata Garud, TMCnet Contributor

In order to fully automate and streamline backup and disaster recovery processes for its IBM i environment, Mid-Continent Group has deployed EMC Data Domain (News - Alert) deduplication storage systems.

The action has reduced management overhead and costs for Mid-Continent Group, a subsidiary of the Great American Insurance Group. Leveraging native Data Domain support for IBM i operating environments, the company also managed to handle its data growth without the need for tape.

EMC (News - Alert) Data Domain deduplication storage systems’ practice without tapes brought down disaster recovery time to approximately 4 hours from 4-5 days. At the same time, disaster recovery testing for mission-critical IBM (News - Alert) i systems and data is now easy, predictable and repeatable. Mid-Continent's IBM i environment is now fully automated and does not need human intervention for backup or recovery verification.

Much of the time spent on managing tape-based backup processes is now saved. As a result, Mid-Continent has achieved significant savings on tape library hardware maintenance and tape transportation service costs. Mid-Continent has saved on power, cooling and space requirements with replacing multiple racks of backup equipment with a Data Domain deduplication storage system.

“With tape being used, the DR timeline for our IBM i series was 4-5 days,” said John Pullen, IT development manager, Mid-Continent Group. “In our latest DR test with EMC backup and storage technology, we were up and running in four hours. With Data Domain, we've completely automated our [IBM i] backup. No hauling tapes. No misplaced tapes. No costs associated with off-site storage. No chasing our data growth or adding power and floor space. We back up about 9.5 terabytes of IBM i data every night, and it's easy for us to keep a year's worth of IBM i data online.”

EMC Corporation’s (News - Alert) backup and recovery product portfolio spans Mid-Continent's open systems environment, as well as IBM i environment. While dealing with open systems, Mid-Continent deployed EMC Avamar deduplication backup software and system and EMC Networker unified backup and recovery software and Data Domain systems.

Mid-Continent chose to widen the success it first experienced with EMC Data Domain to its IBM i environment, with the introduction of native support for IBM i environments.

EMC was recently in the news when it rolled out its pre-configured private cloud platform VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, created through an alliance with six hardware and software vendors. The new VSPEX Proven Infrastructure cloud is available through its Velocity Program channel partners, who can rebrand the platform.

Edited by Braden Becker

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