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Simplifying Data Backup and Storage Management with Software Appliances

c-gutierrez

By: c-gutierrez

July 7, 2010 4:08 pm

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CHALLENGE
Sep was excited by the market demand for appliances, but needed a more efficient was to build these products. “We used Debian base (a free distribution of GNU/Linux), but it didn’t have the functionality we desired.” said Hubert Schweinesbein, Director of Partner Sales, EMEA, SEP AG. “Moreover, we had to maintain the Linux OS, build process and patch management ourselves. This distracted us from our core business of developing backup solutions where we can best compete. We wanted the ability to quickly build appliances that were easy to maintain.” Based on its strong working partnership with Novell and positive experience using SUSE Studio, SEP joined the SUSE Appliance Program. This unique program provides independent software vendors (ISVs) with technology such as SUSE Studio for creating efficiently designed appliances, plus support and go-to-market resources. “There are appliance building tools available from RedHat and others, but they’re not enterprise-ready,” said Schweinesbein.

SOLUTION
Using SUSE Studio, SEP developed the SEP sesam Backup Appliance (SEP SBA), a robust, feature-rich and powerful backup software powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell. Customers have the option to run the SEP SBA in a physical environment or on any virtual environment from VMware server, vSphere4, ESXi, XEN and HyperV.

“It’s very easy for us to maintain the appliance and Linux operating system, together as one software package, and deliver these images to our customers,” said Schweinesbein. “We built our first appliance on SUSE Studio as a boot image running on RAM disk. When t came time to develop a second appliance, we could do this very quickly based on the existing configuration.”

SEP developers have also been very pleased with the tool. “Our developers found that SUSE Studio made maintenance easier and gave them more flexibility, said Schweinesbein.

Additionally, SEP has benefited from Novell support on many levels, including marketing and technical resources. “Novell helps us win new customers and partners,” said Schweinesbein. “We have a really good partnership with Novell on a technical and business level. It’s always a positive environment.

RESULTS
SEP participation in the SUSE Appliance Program is already paying off. “Using SUSE Studio, we’re able to offer appliances that are more flexible and targeted to our customers’ needs, and that’s powerful for us as we enter new markets,” said Schweinesbein. “Using standardized technology from Novell, we’re able to develop and sell a professional appliance based on SUSE Linux Enterprise, with full maintenance behind it.”

The company has already delivered enterprise-ready backup appliances to more than 100 schools in Germany. “The SEP sesam Backup Appliance was exactly what the schools were looking for,” said Schweinesbein. “The teachers don’t have a great deal of IT experience, so they needed something that was very easy to install and maintain. The appliance fits perfectly in this environment. They’ve been very happy with the appliances and reported that they found them easy to use and maintain.”

Creating self-contained, easy to manage appliances provides a competitive edge for SEP. “We can create turnkey products that essentially install themselves,” said Tim Wagner, President of SEP USA. “That’s a key advantage for us and for our customers.”

SEP is also benefiting from faster time-to-market of new appliances. “We’re able to do more in less time,” said Schweinesbein. “We also like the fact that we don’t have to maintain multiple operating systems, or make changes to our code to adapt to various operating systems. This saves us a huge amount of time.”

SEP wholeheartedly advocates using SUSE Studio. “From a management perspective, every ISV should focus on their core business, and then use existing Linux software and tools like SUSE Studio to streamline appliance development and support.

To learn more about the SEP sesam Backup Appliance, please visit http://sepusa.com or contact us via email at lb@sepusa.com

Since 1992, SEP has developed industry-leading technology for data security, and has integrated this into one of the fastest and most reliable data backup solutions available today.

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Categories: Appliances, Expert Views, SUSE Studio

Disclaimer: As with everything else at SUSE Conversations, this content is definitely not supported by SUSE (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).  It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.

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