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Like Magic

Since deploying a new solution from INNOVATION Data Processing, Sigma-Aldrich is now confident that it can be up and running again in the event of a failure in very little time.

Since deploying a new solution from INNOVATION Data Processing, Sigma-Aldrich is now confident that it can be up and running again in the event of a failure in very little time.
Photography by Greg Kiger

Up Close

CUSTOMER: Sigma-Aldrich
HEADQUARTERS: St. Louis
BUSINESS: Life-sciences and high-technology company
HARDWARE: 50 IBM System p servers, an IBM System Storage 3584-L52 UltraScalable Tape Library and four IBM System Storage Ultrium LTO-3 tape drives
SOFTWARE: SAP, Lotus Domino, WebSphere and INNOVATION Data Processing’s UPSTREAM RESERVOIR
CHALLENGE: Finding a replacement backup and restore software solution after migrating from a mainframe environment to an AIX OS-based environment
SOLUTION: Moving to INNOVATION’s AIX backup and restore software

Being my own IT specialist—a necessity, given that I work from home—one of my greatest worries is a hard drive failure. If it goes, so goes my years of data—poof, gone, like magic. Bad magic.

As a result, I’ve experimented with a number of different backup solutions, going back to dragging and dropping mission-critical data on—remember these?—floppy disks. Most recently, I had been using a shareware backup software to clone my internal disk to an external drive. Unfortunately, that software didn’t have a scheduling option, so I was at the mercy of my own memory to do it.

Well, all of that changed when I upgraded to the latest version of my OS. Not only does this upgrade run faster than the previous one, but it also includes a built-in backup utility that, on first run, clones my hard drive and then incrementally—and transparently—backs everything up to my external drive periodically throughout the day. Now, if my primary drive fails, I can simply hit a restore button and—voilá!—I’m up and running again on a new drive—like magic. Good magic.

Of course, this technology isn’t really new (except maybe on desktop machines), but some of the available tools on, say, AIX* OS-based machines can be limited in function and difficult to use. As a result, some organizations may have to hire a dedicated backup specialist to ensure that their data is safeguarded against any type of catastrophic failure. Additionally, if there’s a failure, recovering from it may not be as easy as hitting a restore button.

But as Sigma-Aldrich recently discovered, backup and disaster-recovery tools are available that are easy to use and make restoring from failures a simple task. In the case of Sigma-Aldrich, that solution came from INNOVATION Data Processing and its selection of backup and recovery tools, including the company’s UPSTREAM RESERVOIR product. Since deploying the INNOVATION tools, Sigma-Aldrich is now confident that it can be up and running again in the event of a failure in very little time—like magic (the good kind).

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at jjutsler@provide.net.


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Like Magic

Since deploying a new solution from INNOVATION Data Processing, Sigma-Aldrich is now confident that it can be up and running again in the event of a failure in very little time.

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