Coping with data variety and volume on a massive scale
Flexibility and scalability are essential given the complexity of the university’s data
landscape. “The variable nature of our data poses a lot of challenges. For example,
observational science can generate millions of sub-1K files of satellite data, which are a
nightmare to backup, while genetics research can involve a file system of 100
terabytes,” explains Penny. “Re-ingesting data to run a full backup would take
four weeks. With Commvault, we can backup 1.6 petabytes in 36 hours,” adds Penny.
This saving is achieved by using a combination of incremental and synthetic backups, which
minimizes the load on the network and client devices while also ensuring a solid data
recovery point. Implementing IntelliSnap® software will enable the university to further
optimize the backup of its virtual machines, freeing up resources and capacity.
Penny and the operations team can track the progress of every backup using Commvault’s
web management console and Command Center. “The interactive dashboards make it quick
and easy to check on backup status and drill down into any issues,” adds Penny.
Saving time, storage space, and money
With such large data volumes, storage costs can spiral out of control – especially when
backup retention policies span between seven days and one year. A deduplication rate of 98%
has helped the university massively reduce its storage capacity requirements, saving around
£1 million deduplication over the course of a decade.
“Without Commvault’s deduplication capabilities, we would need 15 petabytes of
space to store all our backups. Instead we can scrunch it all into 1.6 petabytes,”
says Penny. “This was one of the reasons we selected Commvault in the first
The University of Leicester also needs to be able to search and analyze its backup data to
comply with General Data Protection Regulations. With Commvault Activate™, it can
discover personally identifiable information and orchestrate retention and deletion
“Commvault has been our data management partner for nearly a decade. It helps to
safeguard our research activities, our reputation, and the student experience. We receive
excellent support and any technical issues are quickly escalated. Its developers ended up
writing a specific patch that we needed to resolve a problem – and it’s going to
be included in the next service pack!” comments Penny.