Indianapolis Colts hand off data backups to Venyu

Beth Pariseau
Venyu Inc., the company formed out of online backup service provider

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AmeriVault Corp. and data center disaster recovery managed service provider NTG, has added another team to its roster of NFL clients based on AmeriVault's reputation in the league.

The Indianapolis Colts this week became the fourth team to publicly announce it is outsourcing backups to Venyu. Director of football information systems Ryan Fannin said he evaluated competitive services, but went with a vendor already known in the NFL.

"These guys were well known in the NFL," Fannin said. "The Patriots, Jets and Ravens all use them and we're comfortable knowing they're solid for those other teams."

The Colts decided to outsource backups because they wanted to get rid of tapes the team was backing up to through Symantec Backup Exec. "We wanted to make sure everything was 100 percent backed up, and wanted to be able to get rid of tapes, which were failing and added cost to replace," Fannin said.

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The Colts send approximately 140 GB per night over a T3 pipe to Venyu, with a Microsoft Exchange email database making up most of the traffic. The first upload of about 1.5 TB of data to Venyu required a portable hard drive "seeding" device. Fannin said he is happy with the nightly email alerts from Venyu on backup successes and failures.

Not all of the Colts' data is a good fit for the online backup service, Fannin said. Even with a fairly wide pipe, the Colts have chosen to keep backup of team photos in-house.

"They upload a massive amount of photos after every game," usually at least 20 GB, Fannin said. The images would also have to be restored over the wire if they were backed up to Venyu, which might take too long. The Colts still use Backup Exec internally to back up the images to an iSCSI SAN.

The offsite backup service provides built-in geographic redundancy for the Colts, and that's something they lacked with the local backups. Venyu can also offer disaster recovery using server images, but Fannin said the Colts are sticking to backup for now. The team's primary storage is directly attached to its client servers, which are not virtualized.

"The [server] hardware is replaceable," Fannin said. "As long as we can get the data back."

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