$2.1 Million in Savings and 40X Faster Backups – Fulton County Gets the Best of Both Worlds

When it comes to data, is there anything that beats both savings and speed? What about saving $2.1 million and performing your backups at 40X faster than before? Now that’s truly the best of both worlds. Fulton County, the largest county in the state of Georgia, experienced this Daily Double combination when they decided to standardize on EMC FultonCountytechnologies including Avamar, Data Domain and  VMAX 20K.

With nearly a million residents and counting, in addition to 6,000 IT users in 45 organizations, Fulton County needed a top-notch backup and recovery infrastructure and simple management of their data protection environment. The amount of technology used by the county’s courthouses, health and human services, libraries, public safety, water resources and emergency management agencies is simply staggering.

The county was hitting a wall. Restoring backups could take upwards of a week. Costs were spiraling upward. IT staff piled up overtime just to keep systems running.  Disruptions to the County’s public services grew increasingly closer together and longer in duration.  With the county’s data assets growing exponentially, Ryan Fernandes, Fulton County’s Chief Information Officer, was more than ready to take action. He replaced the county’s legacy backup solutions and implemented EMC Avamar deduplication backup software and system and EMC Data Domain deduplication storage systems.

Fulton County is now fully protected and confident in their ability to recover their data and systems thanks to EMC. Using Avamar and Data Domain, Fulton County backs up their mission-critical applications including Oracle databases, Microsoft SQL Server databases, Exchange and SharePoint, as well as their ERP and case management applications. Fulton also protects VMware vSphere virtual machines and file systems. The county now performs full daily backups of 724 servers 40X faster, has reduced the backup infrastructure footprint by 85% and replicates to a co-location facility for disaster recovery,

Ryan explained, “When we relied on tape, we couldn’t complete our backups within our 12-hour backup window — ever. With Avamar and Data Domain, we execute full nightly backups in six to eight hours. Restores average about 20 minutes instead of a week. Our county operations are much better protected now that we’ve moved to EMC. Reliable, fast data backup is important, providing our County’s nearly one million residents with vital public services.”

All this talk about savings, and we haven’t even talked about the savings Fulton County captured in terms of IT resources. Fulton County implemented VMAX when they needed a storage solution that could scale to meet their growing demands. As various departments — from the county courts to revenue and taxation departments — began leveraging more sophisticated applications, Fulton County needed a faster, more reliable storage solution.

Since VMAX has been installed, Fulton County has reduced time to manage their storage by 80% thanks to set policies and automated tiering with FAST VP. What’s more, the county has lowered their TCO by reducing power and cooling costs.

Avamar, Data Domain and VMAX.  Now that’s what we call a trifecta.

In the end, what Ryan claimed was the biggest benefit was the trust he gained going with EMC.  He said it best when he said, “With EMC, the reliability and agility we have to conduct critical operations is second to none. EMC as a whole has been exceptional – especially the customer service.”

What would you do if you were able to save the kind of money and time Fulton County did?  Let us know.

About the Author: Jen Sorenson