PICA Saves Thousands with Data Acceleration Software

pica-silver-peakPrudential Investment Company Australia (PICA) has improved security, achieved backups that are five times faster, and is saving $5,000 a month on bandwidth costs it no longer requires – all after implementing Silver Peak data acceleration software.

With more than 500 staff at 25 locations from Port Douglas to Melbourne, PICA generates substantial amounts of critical data and replicates up to 600 gigabytes (GB) of data each day between its production and disaster recovery sites. However, when technical services manager Neal Krempin joined PICA, he found that hourly backups between the company’s data center site in Ultimo, Sydney, and the disaster recovery (DR) site in Port Melbourne often failed to complete on time, exposing the company to the risk of serious data loss.

“It quickly became apparent that we were having some issues getting all the data down to our DR site in Melbourne effectively,” said Krempin.  “We run NetApp’s SnapMirror SAN-to-SAN replication and at first it worked quite well, but I found the process had to be monitored very closely to make sure each snapshot did not exceed the given timeframe.  We run hourly backups, and when the images failed to get through in time we would end up with a serious backlog. Sometimes I arrived on Monday morning to find a 24-hour queue of data had formed – it was like peak-hour on George Street.”

Realizing the need to streamline PICA’s backups, Krempin looked into increasing the company’s WAN capacity.  Quotes for 20-30 megabits-per-second (Mbps) of added bandwidth came in at more than $5,000 per month ($60,000 a year), so he began to explore other options.  He invited NetApp and Silver Peak consulting firm, IT Consult, in to assess the problem.  Steve Parsonage from IT Consult recommended a Silver Peak software trial, which he was confident would solve PICA’s off-site replication performance problems.

“I quickly found that Silver Peak’s software-based solution fit into our VMware virtual structure very well, since it is also built on a virtual platform,” added Krempin.  “Silver Peak would allow us to speed up our WAN link and save us from having to invest in extra hardware, as well as saving on additional rack space, power and cabling.”

Previously, PICA’s WAN only achieved about 18 Mbps on a 20 Mbps link. After deployment of Silver Peak software, PICA now reports speeds of up to 100 Mbps – an improvement of more than 500 percent.  PICA also benefits from Silver Peak’s network memory capabilities that de-duplicate data down to a transfer size of about 170 GB.

Currently PICA is on an aggressive acquisition path, looking to double its size over the next few years. At present, the company holds about 20 terabytes (TB) of data. Krempin is confident that the Silver Peak software will allow him to continue accelerating backups and replication traffic efficiently despite the projected increase in data flow.

Prudential Investment Company of Australia Pty Ltd. (PICA) is a national property and financial services company, focused on the Property Services industry.  PICA was established over 50 years ago and has had many interests in a wide range of businesses, our core being in the professional strata, community title scheme, and company title management industry in which we are the market leaders.

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