Roading body rejigs backup

Transit picks hosted system for backup

Transit New Zealand has improved its backup and restore capability with a new hosted system.

Transit IS operations manager Para Ganesan says the decision to change the system from the incumbent IBM Tivoli one to a new hosted arrangement with HdS came about after a review of Transit's business continuity plan.

"After doing a needs analysis and looking at requirements, we found that the current backup wouldn't make it."

The Tivoli system had served Transit well until the review, Ganesan says, but the new requirements identified in the review "meant we would have had to upgrade it quite significantly".

Transit decided instead to introduce a hosted system from HdS involving a link over Transit's private 100Mbit/s ethernet WAN with HdS' data centre in Albany, Auckland.

"It's backup over ethernet and the HdS site appears as a node on our network," Ganesan says.

With that setup, Transit staff can keep track of things via a web-based GUI, an arrangement which has reduced backup time dramatically and reduced Transit's labour costs, as it has removed the need to use backup tapes.

"Having 1.5TB of backup on direct-attached storage is quite expensive," Ganesan says.

That backup is now hosted by HdS and the hosting arrangement means Transit hasn't had to explore other options such as getting its own SAN or building its own disaster recovery mirror site.

"HdS have the SAN," Ganesan says.

The arrangement with HdS is for backup only and day-to-day storage is still done the server-attached way.

IDC Australia storage analyst Graham Penn says other organisations with many offices face the same issues as Transit. "My initial take is that in many ways, their problem isn't unique — there are many organisations that have similar requirements, with distributed offices and the high cost of managing them."

What makes Transit NZ's model unusual is that it was prepared to go to a partial outsourcing model, Penn says.

The use of IP and fibre in storage is "very cost-effective", he says, and variants such as the emerging iSCSI protocol and fibre channel over IP are being used by other organisations.

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