We even looked into building a box ourselves with low-cost SATA drives, but then we found a better answer with Zetta.
September 15, 2011
ZipRealty, Inc. was founded in 1999 on the belief that selling or buying a home could be faster, easier and more efficient. Since then, the company has continued to expand its services, offering excellent service, savings, and convenience to clients nationwide. ZipRealty provides home sellers and buyers with an innovative real estate solution. By using the efficiencies of the Internet, they streamline the real estate process and pass significant savings on to their clients. The ZipRealty website provides a step-by-step approach to guide clients through the home selling and buying processes. Licensed neighborhood ZipRealty Agents have years of experience, allowing clients to save thousands of dollars, without compromising on service.
ZipRealty is an online, data driven business. Richard Tso, ZipRealty Director of IT, was faced with the challenge of storing terabytes of legacy archive data such as image files of homes. These digital assets no longer needed to be accessed on a regular basis, if at all, but could not be deleted. The files had to be available in some online fashion.
"We were looking for a more economical way to store the archived data," explained Tso. Leaving these files on the expensive primary SAN storage was not an economical option. ZipRealty needed a better solution.
"We even looked into building a box ourselves with low-cost SATA drives," remembered Tso, "but then we found a better answer with Zetta."
We were looking for a more economical way to store the archived data.
Zetta was a very painless install. Basically, there was no installation.
ZettaMirror is rock solid. We don't even worry about it.
We're very happy with Zetta, we like it. We've been using it for a long time!
ZipRealty's Zetta Solution
In the fall of 2010, ZipRealty began testing Zetta as an archive target. "Zetta was a very painless install," claimed Tso. "Basically, there was no installation."
The initial testing with about two terabytes of small image files showed some performance issues. Files weren't moving quickly enough. Changes were made to both the Zetta system as well as how the client on the ZipRealty servers was configured.
"Zetta engineering and support worked with us and improved performance of small files," said Tso. "Now it's reliable and quick."
Today ZettaMirror is running on a number of Linux servers moving archived data to the Zetta Storage Service in Santa Clara, California. Files to be archived are placed into specific directories on the local servers. ZettaMirror moves the files to Zetta, two or three times per month, as necessary. ZipRealty is using a scriptable command line interface rather than the GUI interface, as that better fits their operations.
Data is both transferred to Zetta in encrypted format and stored in encrypted format at Zetta for complete security. The Zetta storage service provides enterprise-class and better data protection with redundancy throughout.
More recently, ZipRealty is also using ZettaMirror on Linux to synchronize and back up critical end user data files, mostly PDFs and Word files. These directories are scanned and changed files or blocks moved to Zetta multiple times per week.
As of this writing, ZipRealty is backing up or archiving over five terabytes of data to the Zetta Storage Service. For additional data protection, the ZipRealty Santa Clara Zetta volume is set to automatically replicate to the Zetta Secaucus, New Jersey data center maintaining a redundant copy of the archived data across the continent.
"ZettaMirror is rock solid," said Tso. "We don't even worry about it."
ZipRealty now has a smooth running, cost effective archive system and process. Terabytes of information have been moved to the Zetta storage service freeing up expensive primary SAN space for other uses. Although ZipRealty has not had to pull back data from Zetta for an emergency recovery, they did test out the recovery process and recovery times and everything worked well.
Future plans call for expanding the use of ZettaMirror for additional file backups.
"We're very happy with Zetta," concluded Tso. "We like it. We've been using it for a long time!"