Calif. Emergency Managing Agency uses IBM to help manage data backup requirements

The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) is using a new solution from IBM and Pancetera to better manage their archived data while improving backup of their live data. By consolidating and managing some 80 percent of its data on virtual machines, Cal EMA expects to reduce 75 percent of its decades-old data backup.

Cal EMA was created in 2009, combining the Office of Emergency Services and the state’s Office of Homeland Security to manage the emergency response of local governments when natural or manmade disasters occur. The agency has a multitude of data, with archive needs spanning decades and levels of government. For example, the agency is still responsible for data pertaining to the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles.

Data includes information on physical assets across the state, reimbursement for damages, aid packages, critical infrastructure and real-time data collection by satellite across the state’s 58 counties. To get a full ‘snapshot’ of all its data, Cal EMA would require about 15 to 20 terabytes of data to be backed up every time.

So Cal EMA has moved to virtualize this data.

IBM’s Tivoli Storage Manager and Pancetera’s SmartRead technology will help Cal EMA significantly reduce the I/O load and bandwidth on its storage and network so it can run backups without impacting the performance of production systems.

“Our mission is to be working when everyone and everything isn’t – in fires, floods, earthquakes, landslides and manmade crises – so we needed a backup and recovery solution that can give us timely, reliable data,” Lovell Hopper, manager of Infrastructure Services at Cal EMA, said. “Our new backup combination allows us to master our virtual and physical infrastructure by backing up data with greater ease and speed.”

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