Meridian proposed and delivered a solution based on IBM ProtecTIER technology that not only automated and accelerated off-site backup processes from 24 hours to five, but also enabled Admiral to complete a vital server migration project in record time.
With Meridian’s help, Admiral has succeeded in dramatically accelerating its backup and recovery processes.
Finally, because ProtecTIER will automatically transfer the data, it will also reduce business risk – it eliminates the risk of a tape being stolen, damaged or lost in transit.
Of the partners we considered, Meridian gave us the most confidence in their expertise, and their lead consultant is very highly respected in the IBM i community.
IT Project Manager
Admiral Insurance’s business depends on a number of core systems that run on the IBM i platform. To protect the business-critical data held in these systems, Admiral has built a highly resilient IT architecture, mirroring its production data centre in Cardiff with a disaster recovery (DR) site in Swansea, and storing copies of the data at both sites.
However, ensuring the safety of this data came at a price. Each day, Admiral had to back up its systems onto tape storage at the Swansea data centre, and then send a copy of the tape to its Cardiff site. The IT team was spending around one hour per day on manual tape management, and the cost of the daily courier was also significant. Moreover, the tape backup was time-consuming. A full backup could take 24 hours or more, leaving little margin for error if the process failed. Restoring deleted data was also a lengthy and complicated process.
While Admiral was considering how to optimise its backup process, a new business requirement also emerged. The company wanted to upgrade one of its IBM i servers to a new generation of hardware, but couldn’t afford to take its systems offline for more than a few hours. It needed to find a way to transfer its 60TB database from the old to the new server extremely quickly – but a tape backup and restore would have taken more than a day.
Admiral needed a technology partner with the know-how to advise not only on backup and recovery solutions in general, but also on the specific technical requirements of the IBM i environment – a combination that is not easy to find.
The ProtecTIER solution was also the only solution that had been fully tested and certified by IBM for use in an IBM i environment – giving Admiral confidence that it was the right solution to invest in.
Meridian performed a detailed sizing exercise to ensure that the ProtecTIER appliance would provide the right amount of disk space to support Admiral’s needs. As well as considering the company’s day-to-day backup needs, Meridian also took the server upgrade project into account, and provided a solution that was powerful enough to meet both requirements.
The ProtecTIER solution was implemented rapidly, and the 60TB database migration was completed successfully in little more than an hour. This enabled Admiral to put its new server into production before the start of the new year – the busiest time of year for most insurers.
A full back up now takes 5 hours. That’s 480 percent faster than the old tape solution. Moreover, daily backups are automatically deduplicated, so they only include new or changed data, which makes them faster still.
IT Project Manager