Ontrack supports an IT service provider to ensure its end-customer can access legacy backup tapes

The client

An IT service provider had to guarantee access to the legacy backup tapes of a new end-customer from the insurance industry.

The situation

The end-customer needed to have access to data on a large number of 3592 and 3592/JA tapes for a period of five years, in order to comply with data retention and governance regulations. The backup tapes had been created using Tivoli Storage Manager, however the end customer did not want to incur the costs of maintaining this environment for a five year period for infrequent backup tape restore requests.

The solution

Working with the IT service provider, Ontrack came up with a cost effective and efficient solution to allow continued direct access to the end-customer’s backup tapes over the retention period.

The first step was to conduct a Proof of Concept (PoC) where the end-customer sent 5 tapes to Ontrack. The purpose of the PoC was to ensure full support for the client’s tape and backup software combination and confirm the scope of the project and timelines.

Following the PoC, Ontrack extracted the Tivoli Storage Manager catalogue into a standard database format. This allowed the IT service provider to identify the location of folders or specific files and send the relevant tapes for restore to Ontrack when required. The data from the tape restore could then be delivered back to the end-customer on an encrypted USB drive or via secure FTP for low volume or urgent restore requests.

The data restores and maintenance of the required infrastructure are covered by a multi-year tape service agreement allowing for a pre-defined number of tape restores, with incremental restores available upon request.

The resolution

The IT service provider was able to offer a bespoke tape processing service to their end-customer which meant that they no longer had to sustain the significant costs of maintaining a Tivoli Storage Manager environment while still having the ability to extract data from the tapes as and when required.

The multi-year tape service 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 service agreement also allows requests for, and delivery of, tape restores to be processed quickly and efficiently and avoid administrative delays. Under the service agreement Ontrack is able to guarantee the tape extraction capabilities over the full period of the contract.