Case Study: Chariton Valley Calls StoreVault for Backup

Channel Partners

November 16, 2007

4 Min Read
Case Study: Chariton Valley Calls StoreVault for Backup

Customer: The Chariton Valley Telephone Corp. is a locally owned and operated local exchange company that provides state-of-the-art telecommunications services such as telephone, wireless, Internet and cable TV to businesses and residents of Northeast Missouri. Chariton Valley is leading Missouri and much of the nation with the offering of fiber-optic networks to its subscribers. With more than 50 years of experience, Chariton Valleys goal is to keep its customers in touch, logged in, entertained and communicating, without barriers, at an affordable rate.

Problem: Chariton Valley has 90 employees and its data center includes 45 servers, which manage a total of 2TB of data. The companys original data center setup included a number of HP servers with internal storage that housed file shares, as well as Adaptec Snap Servers which stored many of Chariton Valleys confidential IT files.

When saving documents and other business information, users saved files to various windows shares scattered throughout the network. As Chariton Valley grew and added more customers, long-distance call logging and local call records resulted in increasingly large amounts of data (millions of minutes per month) written to these shares, often stretching them to capacity. Sometimes, these file shares also utilized SQL Server drive space where the OSS stored data. An additional constraint the company had to deal with was that the FCC required customer data, such as call logs and records, be saved and archived for a minimum of seven years. Chariton Valleys discontinued practice of archiving data to CDs created even more data for its servers, shares and disks to house and no permanent archiving solution was available that could clean up all of their scattered data.

Chariton Valley was lacking a centralized strategy for managing scattered file shares. Users filled up hard drives quickly and keeping servers functional became a nuisance. The HP servers containing file shares of accounting and call record data failed at least twice a year shutting them down completely.

Veritas Backup Exec with a HP SSL1016 16-tape autoloader handled all tape backups, while a Buffalo Terastation stored disk-to-disk backups using the Veritas Backup Exec. This setup created issues with the speed of backups and network traffic because Chariton Valleys backup data ended up blocking the network. Adding to this problem was that backup to tape was slow, requiring more than 24 hours and often leading to severe network congestion.

Solution: Chariton Valley employees, Jim Simon, General Manager; Jesse Estevez, IT manager; and Darin Oswalt, Network Analyst, acknowledged that changes had to be made to Chariton Valleys storage infrastructure to solve the problems the company was facing with data management. Realizing that the current Windows-based file shares, Buffalo Terastation and Adaptec snap servers, could not provide the performance and ease of enterprise class servers, they searched for more viable solutions.

Chariton Valley turned to its partner and VAR, Uptime LTD, to help it find the best solution to address its storage infrastructure. After evaluating several different options for Chariton Valley, Merrill Likes, CEO of Uptime, gave a strong recommendation for the StoreVault S500, a product from StoreVault, a NetApp division. When we spoke with Chariton Valley, we knew that StoreVault was the right solution for them based on their specific needs, said Likes. Since all of this was very new to Chariton Valley, we thought who better to talk with them than another SMB customer to see the technology in action.

UpTime referred Chariton Valley to Walsworth Publishing as a local contact using the StoreVault S500. Simon, Estevez and Oswalt spent a morning at Walsworths facility to become better acquainted with the StoreVault solution. Once Chariton Valley saw the NetApp solution in action and the benefits realized, their decision was easy, commented Likes. The strong recommendations from Walsworth Publishing were instrumental in Chariton Valleys decision to implement the StoreVault S500.

Chariton Valley installed two StoreVault S500 units each with 12,500GB drives and dual-parity with a net capacity of 3346GB. The company also bought a license for SnapRestore to enable quicker and easier disaster recovery. One StoreVault S500 has now centralized file shares using a Common Internet File System (CIFS) while an iSCSI LUN houses the SQL Database. The second StoreVault S500 is used for replication between the two units for disaster recovery purposes. Snapshots take place hourly, daily and weekly for all data residing in the second StoreVault solution. The CIFS shares are now easily available for upper level management to restore from their own Snapshots, if necessary. A NexSan SataBoy array helps in staging StoreVault data to disk for tape backups mainly used for archiving.

Results: Since we put the StoreVault S500 into production, we have not had a single instance of storage-related downtime, said Oswalt. Weve been so thrilled with the results so far that we plan to purchase additional StoreVault solutions in the future to virtualize our entire storage environment.

The Snapshots resulting from StoreVault have resulted in fast backups while also enabling instant point-in-time backups for all data residing on the StoreVault S500 without the need to shut down applications or disrupt users. The windows server failures and downtime problems Chariton Valley previously experienced ranged from 4 to 5 hours up to two days. Chariton Valleys storage space utilization has also become much more efficient.

Read more about:

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like