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NHS trust gets Commvault to cut backup times and get set for GDPR

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Trust has deployed Commvault backup software to handle data protection on its consolidated and mostly virtualised environment based on Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure.

The move has seen the Trust cut down significantly on management overhead – having ditched multiple legacy backup applications – and seen backup times achieve a practical overnight window, down from 36 hours for some applications.

The Trust is centred on Chesterfield Royal Hospital, which serves a population of 350,000 and has 550 beds and an IT estate that runs around 260 applications.

Its IT modernisation programme began three years ago as it sought to update from an IT estate, with “an obsolete network, a significant number of standalone servers, limited virtualisation and multiple backup products,” according to associate director of ICT at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Ian Hazel.

At the start of that process, in which it was helped by Chesterfield-based integrator Coolspirit, it had around 70 physical servers, but now runs 11 Nutanix hyper-converged nodes with 310 virtual machines (VMs). It also runs a VMware environment.

As for the backup environment, Hazel said: “We had such a disparate set of backup systems, I could probably name every supplier. It had all grown piecemeal over time.”

The organisation replaced all its existing backup software with Commvault and has a three-tier backup infrastructure, with the most recent data kept online on a Dell SAN, a nearline repository on Nearline-SAS disk and a very long term archive held on tape.

Around 300TB is backed up, with some data protected hourly, some daily and with incrementals and full weekly backups taken.

“The big advantage is simplification. We don’t have several different systems and if we need to make changes it can all happen through one screen,” said Hazel.

He added that it previously took several hours to recover a virtual machine, but that’s now down to less than one hour.

The trust aims to be General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant through the use of Commvault, which will allow all data to be indexed and held in a way that makes it fit with the new regulations, said Hazel.

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