60 second interview
David Alton, ICT support technician for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has overseen the integration of the department's back-up solution for its large scale server migration. We caught up with him to discuss the work involved.
Can you talk a little about the integration of the Yosemite Tapeware solution?
Initially we had approximately six Windows NT servers, each with its own DDS4 internal tape drive and we used Windows NT Backup to backup/restore our files.
When we began investing in new servers it became obvious that we could no longer continue using the old Windows NT Backup because the new servers came with Windows 2003 Server. Also we had a need to start backing up our Microsoft Exchange, SQL, and Oracle databases as well as all our users' files.
We had to source some backup software that would do all of this and after using a trial version of Tapeware 7.0, we decided to implement it onto all our servers both Windows NT and Windows 2003. Tapeware 7.0 was then superseded by Yosemite Backup 8.1 - and we are now up to 8.5 sp1.
What's the main advantage from an administrative point of view?
With Yosemite, we were able to setup an Advanced Zone where we installed one Yosemite Master server and then Yosemite Client server on all our other Windows servers. This meant we could manage the backup routine from one server making it a lot easier to administer. It also enabled us to split the back-up jobs across multiple tape drives within the Advanced Zone reducing the overall backup time.
So - problem solved?
Although all our initial goals were achieved, the latest version of Yosemite Backup no longer supports Oracle. Because of this issue, the server running our Oracle database is still in a Standard Zone and is only running Yosemite Backup 8.1 sp3a.
One of the other benefits of the Advanced Zone is that we can restore files to different servers within the Advanced Zone without the need to import the Yosemite Database onto that server. This saves a lot of time, as importing the database can take hours.
Do you find you have any specific IT issues to address working in this sector?
With evermore equipment being installed in the fire appliances such as CCTV cameras and Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs), we are having to learn new techniques to retrieve information remotely so the Fire Appliances can remain available for Emergency calls at all times. As well as all that, we still have to continue to support the entire South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue computer network and all its applications.
When not in the office, what do you like to do to relax? What are your hobbies outside of work?
In my spare time I go the gym twice a week, and like going to the cinema. In summer, I enjoy riding my bike along the canal close to where I live; and travelling abroad with my friends visiting European cities.
Interview by Keri Allan
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