Proof of Concept
The first step was to conduct a Proof of Concept where the end-customer sent five tapes to our engineering team. The purpose was to confirm full support for the client’s tape and backup software combination as well as confirm the scope of the project and timelines.
Following the Proof of Concept we performed an R&D project to extract the Tivoli Storage Manager catalogue into a standard SQL database format which the IT service provider could query, identify the location of folders or specific files and ship the correct tapes to our team for data restores when required. The data from a tape restore is delivered to the end-customer on an encrypted USB drive or via secure FTP for low volume or urgent restore requests.
The data restores are covered by a multi-year service agreement allowing for a pre-defined number of tape restores per year during the entire five year period, with incremental restores available upon request. The tapes are stored at the IT service provider’s premises and retired in line with the end-user company’s information management policy.
A bespoke solution
The IT service provider was able to offer a bespoke tape processing service to their end-customer so they no longer had to incur significant costs of maintaining a Tivoli Storage Manager environment while maintaining the ability to extract data from the tapes if and when required.
The retainer agreement for restoring backup tapes on demand meant that the services were tailored to the client’s needs and ensured greater predictability in expenditure planning and budgeting. The retainer agreement also allowed requests for and delivery of tape restores to be processed quickly and efficiently and avoid administrative delays.
Under the retainer agreement Kroll Ontrack was able to guarantee the tape extraction capabilities over the period of the contract, working to a service level agreement (SLA) of 12 business days per standard restore, which includes five tapes and one terabyte of selected data.
The project undertaken by the Spanish IT provider and Kroll Ontrack resulted in an excellent outcome for the end-customer, which was able to significantly reduce the cost of storing tapes and recovering data when required – all without having to update its Tivoli Storage Manager environment
There were also benefits for the IT provider itself, which was able to deliver an effective, reliable and secure service to its new client without a huge extra investment in infrastructure.