Truck manufacturer takes backup detour

Using MS Exchange for 8,000 employees, the company needed backup software that could restore individual user mailboxes.

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Truck manufacturer takes backup detour
Company adopts new backup software

By Linda Christie

With Microsoft Exchange implemented for 8,000 employees in North and South America, International Truck and Engine needed backup software that could quickly restore individual user mailboxes.

International Truck and Engine Corp. hit a major roadblock with its backup software when it switched the platform running Microsoft Exchange Server. The company has Microsoft Exchange servers located in 17 different locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. So, this was no small problem, and the company knew it had to take a detour.

"Initially we deployed Microsoft Exchange Server on an Alpha platform," says Earl Axe, manager of enterprise PC/LAN strategies at Chicago-based International Truck and Engine. "When we switched to Intel, though, our current backup software (the company declined our request for the vendor's name) gave us a bunch of problems," says Axe. IT staff were not able to restore an individual user's mailbox using the old software, and they tried to restore the Exchange Database offline but could not get it to work, he adds. In addition, Axe says, they had problems with the vendor's help line, and emergency problems would be answered a week later.

International started looking for new backup software. With many sites unmanned by IT people, International needed an e-mail backup solution that could be remotely managed. After a search, International's e-mail administrator recommended they visit CommVault System Inc.'s booth at a Win 2000 deployment conference.

"CommVault's Galaxy demonstrations were slick," Axe says. "Galaxy could do brick backups fairly quickly -- restore contacts, a sent item, anything in someone's mailbox. We couldn't do that with the software that we had been using. We also liked the way Galaxy worked with servers. It installed a lot easier, and you can control tapes and backup schedules from a main console."

At the time, though, Oceanport, N.J.-based CommVault was only available for jukeboxes. "To get its product to work in our environment, CommVault spent a couple of weeks modifying its code. So, it would work with individual tape drives," Axe says. "We also presented them with a list of 25 things it didn't do, and they resolved all of the issues."

After a strong testing phase, International was ready to install Galaxy on its Exchange servers. "We had to prove ourselves for a few weeks until they trusted our product and were 100 percent comfortable," says Rob Kaloustian, regional technical service manager at CommVault.

Galaxy has given International's employees the flexibility they needed to selectively restore calendar entries and other items without destroying e-mail received on the day of the crash, as would happen with a bulk restore, says Axe. "CommVault costs a little more than our other product, but you get what you pay for. A week after we had CommVault installed, my boss deleted his own mailbox. We had it restored in a couple of hours. He was very happy. Now we know we can restore something. We were never really sure before, even though we had backups."

John Barry, director product management for CommVault, says that e-mail backup solutions must be easy to manage locally and remotely, at all levels of the organization. "Also make sure the administrator has the granular control required to quickly restore an individual piece of data -- a single message, for example. It shouldn't require the entire IT staff, a second server or restoring an entire server to get a single e-mail message off of a tape."

According to Axe, International's greatest benefit from installing Galaxy, aside from it simply doing what it says it will do, comes from its ease of use. "We are able to do restores without spending a week rebuilding a server like we had to do with our old software," Axe says. "We are really pleased with the product and their service."

For additional information about Galaxy for Exchange 2000, visit CommVault System's Web site.

For more information on International Engine and Truck visit their Web site.

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This was first published in August 2001

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