ESC Labs InfiniVault Case Study

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Read how ESC employed the Imation Infinivault to create an archive tier to which it could offload its file servers, creating more space on the LAN and facilitating quicker data backupsall while ensuring retention compliance with various state and federal regulations.


  • 1. Case Study AT-A-GLANCEESC Labs Cleans Up Data StorageIndustry:Environment and Manages Compliance Environmental Sciencewith Imation InfiniVault Active Archive Application: Information ArchiveStorage ApplianceRegulatory Compliance Primary Storage OffloadESC Lab Sciences (ESC), located just outside Nashville,Backup and RetrievalTennessee, is an employee-owned environmental testingSoftware:laboratory that performs clean up, remediation or permit tests Custom applicationsas mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Benefits Realized:Since the companys beginning in 1970, ESC has grown to be Automated archive ofthe largest single-location, nationally certified laboratory in thedigital records and testingcountry with testing facilities that encompass 80,000 square data with flexibility infeet. The company has a staff of more than 250 employees and data placement enablingranks in the top ten of its industry in revenue. regulatory compliance.The SituationThe IT environment at ESC is a mixture of Microsoft Windows and Linux operatingsystems. While the front end is typical of many Windows setups, the back endcontains a number of custom applications that run on Linux and Oracle. Theprimary storage consists of an Oracle database system that runs on an EMCstorage area network (SAN).Most of ESCs clients are architect engineering firms required to submit totesting under EPA laws and regulations, such as the Clean Water Act andClean Air Act. Once samples are collected, ESC runs tests, analyzes the data,provides results and retains archived copies of the information. Since thecompany operates a significant amount of computer-driven, high-tech chemistryinstrumentation, it creates several layers of data. ESC operates in a near-paperless environment by digitally providing instrument data, test results, andsupplemental data in final reports presented to clients via the Internet. All dataand reports are standardized on a PDF file format for electronic record keeping.The ChallengeEPA compliance requires that the instrument data, the lowest rung archivedata that ESC maintains, be kept for up to 30 years. As the volume of this datacontinued to grow, it was becoming unmanageable and the backup processwas becoming extremely difficult. The data had accumulated to approximatelythree terabytes (about 50 million files) and ESC estimated that an additional oneterabyte per year would continue to be generated from this particular type ofdata. At this rate, the data was rapidly exceeding the storage capacity of its twoterabyte LAN.

2. ESC needed an archive tier to which it could offload its file servers, to createmore space on the LAN and facilitate quicker data backups. The companyalso needed a solution that included the ability to set data retention periods inorder to remain compliant with various state and federal regulations. According to the Enterprise Infrastructure Director, Tom White, ESC needed The RDX disk anda long-term, powerful storage management system that would automatethe process to move the data, archive it, but still have it available onlineallits 30-year lifespanwhile dynamically managing the growth through an archival system. He was fit our needsdetermined to find the perfect solution.for regulatoryThe SolutioncomplianceESC considered software like EMCs DiscXtender and other media, however,quite well andthe company wanted to standardize and implement a disk storage solution.the softwareWhite feels he found the perfect solution to ESCs storage needs with theImation InfiniVault Active Archive Storage Appliance. It provides a very nice, complimented simple interface to the storage unit and its very adaptable to have the filesthe online or offline. Its pretty seamless to users.Tom WhiteESC opted to deploy Imations FileStore Data Migrator (FDMI) softwareIT Director,package for automating file movement. All the files and data have beenESC Lab Sciencesmigrated to the InfiniVault and the daily test results upload automatically tothe database. Data is archived to the InfiniVault, creating more space on thefile servers and a significant reduction to the backup window. ESC also takesadvantage of InfiniVaults replication capability and RDX disk portability.By creating two copies of the data, one copy can be taken offsite to asecure location while the other copy remains in the vault. In this way, usershave instant access to the data without a need to have the media manuallyretrieved, like on many other systems.White especially appreciates the InfiniVaults user-friendly interface, theformat and the capability to keep the files online or offline. He explains thatthe RDX disk and its 30-year lifespan fit our needs for regulatory compliancequite well and the software complimented the product. It seems to have a lotof versatility and a lot of potential uses down the road that we may be ableto explore. I can see that we could benefit from using the InfiniVault for otherstorage needs that we have.Questions? Contact us at:Phone: 651-704-7777Website: www.scalablestorage.comimation.comImation Enterprises Corp., 1 Imation Way, Oakdale, MN 55128.3414 USA Ph: 651.704.4000 Fax: 651.537.4675 Imation Corp. Imation, the Imation logo and InfiniVault are trademarks of Imation Corp and its affiliates. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. (03.05.12)