It seems that with every passing month the national housing market is hit with terrible news. Despite the grim outlook the do-it-yourself market appears to be holding steady. Homeowners who have decided to update existing homes rather than trying to sell in a down economy are initiating home remodeling projects.
Carlos Haas (aka “the Colonel”) founded Haas Cabinet in Sellersburg, Indiana in 1939. Today, Haas Cabinet helps do-it-yourself and homeowners create larger or more functional kitchens, expanded bathrooms or home-offices.
The company has created a wide variety of social networks for customers. Two examples are The Skinny: Fat Free News and Comedy.com. The Skinny is an online TV property that appears on MySpaceTV. The Skinny viewers can browse show archives, vote on shows and interact with other show fans. Comedy.com is a social media destination that marries popular social networking with Digg-style functionality, which appeals to comedy fans of all types.
As demand for kitchen, bathroom and home office remodels increases, the demands and importance of Haas Cabinet’s data storage needs increases as well.
To ensure that all corporate data is protected, Haas selected Amanda Enterprise (AE) and Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) for MySQL from Zmanda. “When I arrived at Haas, there were a few primary servers in use, three Windows boxes and a Red Hat Linux server. There was no uniform data protection strategy; each server had its own backup system with various tape technologies,” said Steve Jackson, systems architect, Haas Cabinet.
Jackson said that one member of the IT department was in charge of the Windows backup and another was in charge of the Linux systems’ backup. Shortly after Jackson joined Haas the Linux system (the manufacturing production system) went down and was replaced by a new Linux system without an attached or internal backup device. The old Linux system was rebuilt as a development machine and its backup device was used to backup the production box. Around the same time a tape drive that was attached to one of the Windows boxes failed! Clearly the backup solution in place was ad hoc and prone to failures.
To simplify the backup and recovery process, Haas Cabinet selected Amanda Enterprise to provide daily incremental backups to disk of each of the company’s 11 servers as well as weekly full backups to tape for the same set of servers.
Haas uses ZRM for MySQL to backup its primary database system on a nightly basis. The MySQL database is the back-end of the company’s JBoss Application server, all data files used by the legacy COBOL production management system, as well as invoice and other accounting (Travers) data are kept in the MS-SQL database.
The backup server is a Dell PowerEdge 2950, running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, with a 1.5 TB usable RAID array. 1.3 TB of the array is used to archive five weeks of weekday-only backups. The remaining disk space is used to archive 30 days of incremental backups with ZRM for MySQL and operating system needs. A Dell PV-114T LTO-3 is attached to the server for use during the weekly full backup to tape.
“I am a great supporter of the professional open-source concept,” said Jackson. “After pricing out a couple of well-known closed-source commercial products, including Symantec Backup Exec, as well as the Amanda software, it was determined that for a business of our size Zmanda had the best value proposition.”
When asked about Amanda Enterprises’ key strengths, Jackson said that the solution, being based on a popular open source project, is “well exercised and is being continually improved to include the most sought after features.” Jackson also cited Zmanda Management Console and Zmanda’s native Windows Client as AE’s key strengths.
Jackson likes the fact that Zmanda supports MySQL, stating, “Few products out there provide specific support for open source products such as MySQL”.
Jackson went on to say that “the open archive format from Zmanda ensures that Haas will be able to recover its data from the archives using the basic system tools (tar, zip) available on each platform, regardless of whether or not the backup software itself is available at that time.”
Jackson added that among his top priorities during the evaluation process was to select a backup system that could handle all of the company’s current backup needs while at the same time have the ability to easily adapt to increased storage demands based on future growth.
“The cost-effective nature of Amanda Enterprise has allowed us to implement a single common solution for enterprise wide backup, while other solutions would have be price-prohibitive for our company in the current market climate,” concluded Jackson.