Metricon uses cloud to reduce storage volumes by 80 per cent

Australian home building company also saved $28,000 on tape costs

Home building company Metricon has reduced storage volumes by 80 per cent and saved $28,000 on tape costs since it moved to a cloud storage offering in early 2014.

Metricon IT Group server engineer George Chen said that after 38 years in business, the Melbourne-based company had 39 terabytes of data backed up on tapes.

Chen and another staff member were spending 10 hours a week managing backups. If Metricon staff needed access to an archived file, it could take hours to retrieve.

“Backups were taking time away from other maintenance tasks and from managing and improving our business critical systems,” said Chen.

“Our homes come with 25-year warranties so we keep our backup tapes for decades. Tape and tape drives break so we needed to ensure that we have warranties and other documents on hand if our customers need them,” he added.

In order to reduce costs and improve data recovery, Chen looked at moving backups into the cloud. It deployed public cloud offering Microsoft Azure and an unidentified backup solution.

However, according to Chen, most of the 39 terabytes had not been transferred into Azure after one month due to the backup software working too slowly.

He decided to ditch the backup software and selected Riverbed SteelStore. Files are now backed up in the appliance and transferred over to Azure.

“De-duplication has reduced the amount of data stored in the cloud from 39 terabytes to 7. We have reduced the time spent on backups by 80 per cent and we are now spending two hours a week on backup instead of 10,” he said.

“We have used these work hours to roll out Office 2013 and upgrade to Microsoft System Centre 2012 Configuration Manager.”

According to Chen, file restorations now “take minutes” as opposed to hours required to request backups from offsite tapes.

“Our data is growing at a rate of approximately 20 per cent per year so reducing storage costs is important as the business grows. Within five years, our storage footprint will be close to 100 terabytes but by using the cloud, data storage will remain at 20 terabytes,” he said.

Metricon has been contacted for additional comment by Computerworld Australia.

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