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Nonprofit turns to Zetta.net to replace tape backup

John Hilliard

When the nonprofit Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) sought a replacement for their offsite tape backup, the organization turned to Zetta.net's DataProtect SaaS product for backup, disaster

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recovery and archiving, according to systems administrator Luke Bair.

"The support we have received from Zetta has been great so far. The techs were able to resolve all of my problems, which were mostly during initial setup, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find suggestions we had made had been later implemented in the product. So far, Zetta DataProtect is one of the easiest [backup programs] to maintain and modify for the price," said Bair.

The nonprofit Cook Inlet Tribal Council, based in Anchorage, Alaska, offers services for local Alaska Native and Native American populations that include education, training and employment, according to the CITC website. CITC relies on Windows and VMware for 50 virtual machines and needed to back up more than 2.5 TB of data, the company said.

According to Zetta.net, DataProtect is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, managed service providers and other organizations, and integrates local and offsite backup, archiving, and DR functionality into one product.

"Tape was our offsite backup medium, so we backed up everything every day, taking the tapes offsite each week. We had 12-16 tapes storing 800 GB of data on a typical weekend backup," said Bair, who noted that those backups include audio-video data, office documents, databases and VMware server data.

Bair said they sought a faster recovery time and to move away from tape as a backup medium.

"Most admins know the problems with tape. Tapes are slow and have a tendency to be unreliable, and consume time to swap and transport," Bair said.

He said CITC has a secondary NetApp filer located on-site in a separate building with a high-speed connection to their primary datacenter, and keeps about three months of snapshots handy on the secondary NetApp for easy restore, along with some longer-term backup to disk jobs.

He said Zetta.net stood out because of cost and how the SaaS could be integrated into their environment.

"It was inexpensive, had true incremental-forever backup and was able to leverage the original snapshot capability of our NetApp, meaning we did not need to copy the data locally to a Windows/Linux server to achieve incremental-forever backups," said Bair, who declined to say how much CITC paid for the Zetta.net product.

He's been satisfied with Zetta.net, although "the only feature that I found lacking is the ability to set one [full] backup job per month, or quarterly/yearly backups," he said, adding that workarounds are available.

CITC did consider other alternatives, but Bair said those products required anything from having an agent on a server that could only back up the local drives of that server, to purchasing an expensive third-party server box that would copy the data locally and then mirror it to the cloud.


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