Organizations of all sizes are coping with exponential increases in their data storage and backup needs. So I’ve asked Brad Kenney, Avnet’s vice president of Enterprise Infrastructure and a member of my Impact Team, to spotlight one of Avnet’s recent award-winning successes in this area.
Steve has talked about Avnet’s effort to scale our data storage capabilities to handle a petabyte or more of data, but storage is only one part of the equation. Our backup and disaster recovery capabilities also needed to keep pace as Avnet’s data needs have grown from 250 terabytes in 2010 to more than 1.5 petabytes in 2014.
DEDUPLICATION OF THE DATA CENTER
Avnet initially implemented EMC’s Data Domain solution in 2012 to handle the de-duplication of files located on the thousands of Avnet PCs deployed globally. But in order to reap the full benefits across the enterprise, we had to extend that de-duplication and compression capability to include our data center’s storage area network and more than 1,700 servers.
RESULTS & BOTTLENECKS
Implementing Data Domain in the data center ultimately reduced the amount of information Avnet needs to maintain and secure by 92%—a massive improvement. But de-duplication and compression consumes a great deal of processing power, and as the volume of data grew, this placed a significant burden on the data center’s infrastructure that handles more than one million batch jobs each month.
BOOSTING AVNET’S ORACLE INFRASTRUCTURE
To address this critical constraint, Avnet sought out the aid of EMC’s Data Domain Boost. Boost is a software solution designed to work in concert with Data Domain to help reduce bandwidth constraints due to de-duping and compression activity.
Boost limits the de-dupe and compression activity to just the target server affected, removing a great deal of related traffic from the company backbone. At the time, however, Data Domain Boost hadn’t been deployed on an Oracle/AIX infrastructure like Avnet’s before.
So we worked closely with EMC in the initial testing to deploy Data Domain Boost on an Oracle platform, with the goal of integrating it into our backup environment once it was available. As a result, Avnet was one of the first companies to use Data Domain Boost in an Oracle environment.
While this testing was taking place, Avnet also upgraded the backbone to a 10 gigabyte network and Fibre Channel infrastructure, greatly increasing the available throughput.
SPEED & AGILITY
The combination of greater throughput and lower bandwidth needs reduced our backup times by 10X, increasing speeds from 100MB/s to 8 GB/s in some instances.
The increased bandwidth and decreased data footprint also give Avnet the ability to restore any of our databases in six hours or less, significantly improving our business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities.
Congratulations to everyone at Avnet who was involved in this two-year overhaul of our data backup, deduplication, storage and disaster recovery platforms. Because of their award-winning efforts, Avnet is poised to handle the exponential growth in data that we’ve experienced for many years to come.