An interesting side benefit of the Petasite is that the expense of Knowles off-site backup with data protection company Iron Mountain was greatly reduced. Before the company provided six tapes per week to Iron Mountain of selective key data it had time to store. With the Petasite B80L, Knowles is able to back up everything on two tapes which is cheaper since off-site storage service charges per tape, and more comprehensive.
A Leap Of Faith
Sony, the legendary consumer electronics brand, is not nearly as well known in IT circles, though it has been selling storage solutions on an OEM basis for years. Richard Dase, director of technology for Knowles, says the decision to go with the Sony drive was "a leap of faith" because "the value and the speeds seemed unbelievable." And while the $120,000 price tag for the 16-terabyte system was a bit more than what some other vendors offer, Dase says Sony had a performance and storage capacity edge up to several times that of other vendors.
With the help of Sony and Acunet personnel, the installation took about a week which included Knowles running its old solution in parallel just in case anything went wrong. The Coke machine-sized PetaSite actually hooked up to the Sun servers and worked immediately, but fell short of the initial performance spec because the Veritas backup software Knowles uses needed to be tuned. Sony brought in a Veritas specialist and worked out the kinks over the course of five days.
"We told their (Veritas) technical support staff the performance we were expecting and they weren't used to hearing numbers that high," recalls Swank. "But eventually we got into their second level of support and received the tuning spec we needed to get the Sony performing correctly."
With the Sony PetaSite B80L humming along just fine, the IT staff at Knowles is taking advantage of vastly increased storage capability and back to enjoying their weekends.