From Tape to Cloud

Going back more than 40 years and covering 98 per cent of the market this company is one of the world’s largest data analytics and services providers, servicing over 11,000 customers and 120,000 end users in Australia and New Zealand, with growing partnerships throughout Asia.  However, their backup environment reliant on physical tape libraries hosted in co-location data centres had the potential to put their reputation and valuable data at risk.

Here's how this large analytics company gained agility and scalability by moving its data storage to the cloud.

The Challenges

The challenges addressed in the project included:

  • A heritage of databases, information systems and platform technologies acquired through mergers and grown organically in-house over many decades slowed our client’s response to market changes
  • Data dating back more than 40 years in legacy systems such as tape was difficult to access and protect to regulatory standards.
  • The increase to 600 data sources over the past decade and the rise of new end-user platforms such as smartphones threatened to overwhelm our client’s ability to integrate into its existing information and data distribution architecture.
  • With more than a petabyte of customer-produced data each day, they needed to manage effectively to cut storage and backup costs.
  • With its data centre based in a flood and blackout-prone part of Brisbane Australia, our customer needed a solution to protect and return the business quickly and completely to operation in the event of a disaster.



Our Solution

Venn IT Solutions and Commvault were existing trusted suppliers to this large analytics firm and had a deep business and technical understanding of the customer’s environment that reached back many years.

Venn IT first ran a cloud readiness assessment to provide a design, ROI information, and risk profile. The guiding principles of which were to increase reliability and data backup compliance, while reducing operating costs.

A subsequent workshop covered a high-level discovery of the existing backup environment, future plans, and collection of information to estimate the costs of maintaining a traditional backup environment versus moving to an innovative cloud-based approach.

The review uncovered further pain points such as the amount of time spent by employees rotating tapes for the backup environment and Commvault licensing consumption and cost, with a configuration of snapshots and replication being split into separate storage policies.

To improve efficiency while reducing costs, our solution included the use of on-premise storage for immediate recovery points plus the use of S3 and Glacier storage platforms based on data age. This provided for automation of service shutdown for on-demand servers and deployment of reserved-instance EC2 servers where appropriate with the aim to remove all tape-based storage in the near future.

The solution involved Commvault and Amazon Web Services (AWS) and included decommissioning of the tape library on-premise infrastructure. The effort and disruption for deployment were minimal with all work completed within one month.


The Impact

The new environment has already produced a range of benefits:

  • With the ability to move workloads around effortlessly, our client accelerated and scaled the delivery of new products and services to market.
  • Commvault’s superior de-duplication cuts transmission and storage costs by 70-90%.
  • Our customer’s management has confidence that Commvault’s solution will enable them to recover rapidly and completely from any disaster scenario without adverse impact on their business or customers.
  • De-duplication cut backups from a petabyte a day to just over a hundred terabytes.
  • Enhanced awareness and visibility of where valuable data is stored and the ability to recover quickly and completely every time.

Venn IT’s managed backup services on the Commvault platform free the customer to redirect their backup engineers’ time to ensure greater velocity through product releases and improved IT security.