Arvest Bank slashes time and expense of data backup with Commvault

Commvault snapshot management technology makes the difference for Midwestern bank, increasing coverage and efficiency of data protection.

Challenge

  • 95% of data was being written to tape
  • Multiple days were needed to achieve a single complete backup
  • Difficulty complying with ever-changing banking regulations
  • Pressure to meet internal SLAs: maintain two current copies of backups at all times

Solution

  • Replicate deduplicated data to another location using Commvault CompleteTM Data Protection
  • Use Commvault snapshot management technology to allow VMs to be quickly protected
  • Save significant time by using disk-based deduplication copy replication

Result

  • Reduced data backup time from 3 days to 3 hours
  • Increased backup schedule from 5 days/week to 7 days/week
  • Cut time to complete backups by 75%
  • Cut storage by 90% with deduplication
  • Able to get secondary copies offsite nearly 72 hours faster than writing local to tape
  • 75% to 85% deduplication rates allowed storage of 3.6 PBs data on 571 TBs worth of disk
  • Saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in disk cost alone

Industry

Banking and Finance

Location

Fayetteville, Arkansas USA

URL

https://www.arvest.com/

At-a-glance panel: Arvest Bank

  • Oldest and largest bank in Arkansas
  • Serves 4 midwestern states with more than 270 locations
  • Total assets now exceed $20 billion
  • Commvault customer since 2007

Key assets protected

  • 240 TB of data backed up weekly
  • Total front-end data backup of 3.6 PB
  • 570 TB stored on backend disk after deduplication and compression

The backup environment

  • Commvault CompleteTM Data Protection
  • Enterprise Support customer
  • Currently using Commvault capacity licensing of about 230 TB
  • IDA File System Agent for Windows, Linux, Unix
  • Microsoft Exchange DAG Agent
  • IDA for Active Directory and SQL
  • Availability Group for SQL
  • VSA with IntelliSnap for VCENTER

“By using DASH Copy, Commvault cut our backup times down by 75% or more…It cut our time by literally days.”

– Chase Hale, Network Systems Engineer, Arvest Bank

“By using deduplication, I can nearly cut down my storage by almost 90%. That’s a real number.”

– Chase Hale, Network Systems Engineer, Arvest Bank

“The savings here is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in disk cost alone.”

– Chase Hale, Network Systems Engineer, Arvest Bank

From its proud origins as a local bank in northwestern Arkansas, Arvest Bank has expanded to 135 communities in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma – earning it a spot on the list of largest US banks.

Chase Hale is a Network Systems Engineer at Arvest Bank. As a native of the region, he understands his company’s significance in the areas they serve. “We’re not just a bank for wealthy people, we’re not just a bank for farmers. We provide financial services, loans, deposits, asset management, insurance, and credit cards… We offer something for everybody.”

Protecting a community

In 2007 Arvest turned to Commvault software to keep the data of its customers safe and in compliance. “Offering all these services, it makes us have to be pretty nimble,” Hale says.

“As a bank, we have lots of regulations. The regulations will say, ‘Hey, you need to keep your data for X amount of days or years now,’ or ‘This data is now included in a new regulation.’ So, one way Commvault makes our lives easier, is they stay ahead of the game.”

“We don’t have to wait for them to make something backwards compatible. They’re on the bleeding edge. We just don’t have to worry. If we introduce a new software or a new way of doing things, nine times out of 10 Commvault’s ready to protect it the way we need it protected. That makes our life very, very easy.”

Cutting backup times by 75%

Recently Arvest made another change that’s already paying off. “We’ve decided as a company that we want to move completely away from tape backups. We are in the process of doing that right now,” says Hale.

“I’d say 95% of our data at one time was all written to tape. But you see, tape is cheap, but it’s also expensive. You got to think of man hours, you got to think of tapes going bad, you got to think of migrations. It’s a headache. What Commvault allows us to do is easily and seamlessly move to a disk to disk solution, using DASH Copy as well to get from one data center to the other.”

DASH Copy is Commvault’s proven solution for minimizing load on a network when transferring files to a remote data center (i.e., it only sends deduplicated data to the remote site). It’s also a powerful tool for enhancing overall backup efficiency. As Hale explains:

“By using DASH Copy, Commvault cut our backup times down by 75% or more. Commvault allowed us to do it the way we wanted to do it. It cut our time by literally days. Now that I’m going disk to disk, my backups are completing almost two days ahead of what they were before.”

Cutting disk space by 90%

“One huge thing Commvault software has helped us do, is what I’ll call disk reduction. We were one of the early adopters of Commvault’s deduplication engine. Especially the DASH Copy functionality that it offers. Which is a lifesaver for us, and a money saver.”

“That disk reduction is just awesome. Think about it like this, I’m a bank and our policy states that we have to keep data for 250 days… By using deduplication, I can nearly cut down my storage by almost 90%. That’s a real number. That’s not a fake number, that’s a real number. That’s on almost every type of backup.”

“The savings here is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in disk cost alone,” says Hale.

The best in the business

To ensure the highest level of protection to their clients, Arvest periodically reviews their IT solutions. Time and again, Commvault proves to be the best solution for backup/data management: Hale explains: “We do vet other companies to make sure we’re getting the best solution for our customers. One thing I can say from vetting Commvault – Their solution is always where it needs to be.”

“One of my favorite things that we love Commvault for is you can always know what’s going on with your backups. We have a task called Financially Significant Resources, and our success rate on resource is exceptionally high, we’re talking 99.999+. We don’t have a lot of failures and restores. And if we do, the good news is we can usually figure it out with the backup logs that Commvault provides,” says Hale.

Stability and support

Josh Kimes is a Network Systems Engineer at Arvest, he joined the team recently, so the capabilities of Commvault are fresh in his mind: “For me, the biggest difference that I noticed after switching to Commvault was stability. Commvault has shown rock solid uptime and stability, whereas the previous backup product we used would crash frequently,” said Kimes.

“I don’t mean to disparage other backup vendors necessarily, but the backup tools that I’ve administered in the past were definitely far behind the curve compared to Commvault. Other products that I’ve used don’t seem to innovate and update their software in order to support backups for new technologies nearly as quickly as Commvault does. So from my personal experience, Commvault seems like a far superior backup product compared to most.”

Kimes also added: “Then there’s the ease of use. The Commvault user interface is very easy to use compared with other backup tools that I’ve worked with in the past, and then there’s also the support benefits of Commvault. So far support has been excellent with Commvault and the Commvault disk-based backup solution works incredibly well. The previous backup tool we used only seemed to work seamlessly while implementing clunky legacy tape-based backups but it severely underperformed or failed when trying to implement a newer disk based solution. Commvault significantly improves ease of backup management by allowing admins to get rid of the burden of managing tapes and tape libraries.”