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Commvault HyperScale appliance keeps county covered

The Commvault HyperScale integrated appliance enables San Mateo County to back up more in less time. The appliance marks a new direction for Commvault.

Longtime Commvault software customer San Mateo County has made the jump to HyperScale, the vendor's integrated appliance.

The California county recently implemented the Commvault HyperScale appliance for its data protection, a move that has freed up valuable time for IT to work on other important initiatives.

San Mateo historically used a variety of backup products, including Tivoli, but decided to move away from that approach and selected Commvault seven years ago, said Jon Walton, CIO of the county.

"It did the best job of meeting all the backup requirements for the variety of systems we support," Walton said.

County takes advantage of new appliance offering

San Mateo, in Silicon Valley, is home to many of the world's biggest technology companies, including Facebook and Oracle. The county employs 7,600 people.

San Mateo implemented four HyperScale appliances -- two at each of its data centers -- a few months ago.

"The appliances streamlined and sped up deduplication and backup procedures," Walton said.

San Mateo backs up about 170 TB through traditional agents and the Commvault HyperScale appliance, Walton said. The county uses Nutanix for compute and storage. It has 1,200 virtual servers running on the Nutanix hyper-converged platform.

The county keeps backups on site for 14 days, then moves them to AWS Simple Storage Service through Commvault software. Nutanix, Commvault and AWS work well together, Walton said.

In the last few months, the county has completely eliminated tape. While data restoration used to take up to a week, it's down to less than a day for files, Walton said.

Walton said while he's not looking for any specific technical additions to the Commvault HyperScale appliance, he said he just needs to make sure he keeps up with the updates and learning about the product.

The Commvault HyperScale appliance launched in 2017, following years of the vendor resisting the idea of selling hardware. The scale-out product integrates compute, storage, backup and recovery, data lifecycle management, reporting and analytics. The integrated appliance comes with the vendor's software installed and configured. HyperScale is also available as software for customers who want to run it on their hardware of choice.

Commvault HyperScale appliance product
The Commvault HyperScale appliance integrates compute, storage, backup and recovery, data lifecycle management, reporting and analytics.

Appliance helps county find 'untapped value'

San Mateo County may add a third data center outside of its earthquake zone, in Sacramento, where it would implement two more HyperScale appliances.

Walton said the Commvault HyperScale appliance frees up space and time. In the past, the county backed up the bare minimum because of the time it took, leaving unused a lot of untapped data. Just five years ago, it was backing up less than 70 TB, which is less than half what it does now.

We're finding a lot of untapped value in our system engineers.
Jon WaltonCIO, San Mateo County

"You don't know what data you need until after the fact," Walton said.

And since engineers are spending less time working on backup, they're spending more time working with business analysts and data analysts, as San Mateo undertakes several projects involving digital transformation and data.

For example, the Open San Mateo County project provides residents with updated data and statistics on the county's progress with goals in such areas as crime, homelessness and greenhouse gas emissions. And its public Wi-Fi project is designed to create infrastructure needed to ensure all residents and visitors have equal access to online resources.

"We're finding a lot of untapped value in our system engineers," Walton said.

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