Swisscom Corporate Business
Swisscom Corporate Business have a very complex network topology with lots of firewalls and small interconnected networks that makes the challenge of having a full centralized backup solution difficult to implement.
The entire infrastructure was ready ‘to go’, being operated with a proprietary, closed source backup solution that was extremely expensive.
The main challenge was the need to use one robotic tape library shared across many networks through a Fiber Channel link, while also taking care of the locking of the tape drives resources. Bacula Systems developed the feature Swisscom needed as a plugin: the SAN Shared Storage plugin.
“The main factors that counted in our decision were the cost, because our previous solution was too expensive, and the fact that Bacula Enterprise Edition is open core was an important point for us”, said Yvan Broccard, Swisscom’s Application Engineer. “Its attractive features were of course important as well, and previous success with Bacula on other projects helped us to decide to choose Bacula Enterprise Edition. We migrated away from Symantec Netbackup; when choosing another backup solution, we did not consider any other software provider than Bacula Enterprise Edition because Bacula was the most attractive by far“, added Yvan.
Swisscom chose Bacula Systems for its flexibility, and for the good relationship it has with Bacula Systems’ support and development team. “We chose Bacula because it does what we want, and because we like the way we can configure and operate it – in the Unix way. We also chose Bacula because of the way it is licensed and because it runs on all major platforms” said Yvan. “Bacula Systems developed a specific plugin for us and the support team was always ready to help us with their ticket system, correcting the small bugs at the start of the project, giving advice about the configuration and reacting quickly whenever a problem occurred” he added.
Technical description of the Swisscom deployment
What were the ROI and cost savings over three years? Yvan’s answer: “Compared with the solution we had before, it is far preferable for us to run Bacula Enterprise” said Yvan. “Also, the flexibility is great. For example, the database model is clear and we have the choice between PostgreSQL, MySQL and SQLite. Flexibility for the “Run Script” is also outstanding and being able to customize the database is handy, for creating reports, for example. Network transport encryption and data encryption is done via standard tools and libraries (openssl)” said Yvan.
Regarding scalability, Yvan explained: “We’ve been increasing the number of Bacula clients over the last year. We started with just a couple of clients, going to more than two hundred now. With Bacula Enterprise Edition, it was possible to use the full capability of our infrastructure. And with the deployment of more and more virtual machines, it is sure that the number of clients will increase further”.
Yvan concluded: “We’re satisfied with the Bacula Enterprise Edition backup solution and we might in the future rent our infrastructure internally for other Swisscom departments that would like to share the success of our solution.”