Arkeia Software

Customer Success: Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority

  • 1 R220 Backup Appliance
  • 1 R220-LTO Backup Appliance
  • 90+ Linux and Windows Server Agents
  • Progressive Deduplication™
  • Replication
  • eDirectory
  • Groupwise
  • MS SQL
  • vStorage
Key Results
  • 97% space savings
  • Disaster recovery
  • Accelerated backups and restores


The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority Reduces Storage Costs with Arkeia Backup Appliances


Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), is the public transportation agency serving Cincinnati, Ohio and its suburbs. SORTA operates Metro fixed-route bus service and Access paratransit service. Providing more than 17 million rides per year, Metro brings approximately 20% of downtown Cincinnati’s workforce into the city. SORTA operates one data center in downtown Cincinnati and three satellite data centers, connected by 100Mbps links. SORTA operates a heterogeneous environment of over 300 Windows (75%) and Novell OES Linux (25%) platforms, including MS SQL databases, Novell Groupwise, and the eDirectory directory server. SORTA uses Dell EqualLogic SANs.

Plans to adopt VMware’s virtualization technology presented another challenge. SORTA wanted one backup solution for both physical and virtual environments—but insisted on a complete solution for data protection of virtualized environments. Finally, SORTA wanted an appliance: one solution that integrated hardware and software with one support contract for both elements. Simple, right?


SORTA’s legacy tape-centric data protection infrastructure, based on SyncSort, was expensive and couldn’t keep up with SORTA’s remote office infrastructure. SORTA wanted to eliminate tape drives in its satellite offices in order to conserve funds and to minimize support headaches. Instead, they wanted to replicate backup sets between data centers for safekeeping on disk, and to limit tape to archiving in their main data center. SORTA needed high-compression deduplication to take maximum advantage of their limited LAN and WAN bandwidth.


Michael Carey, systems administrator at SORTA , explained that SORTA selected the Arkeia backup appliance to protect all four of their sites. SORTA uses two Arkeia Network Backup Appliances; one R220 and one R220-LTO. Two sites are backed up over the WAN to the R220. All backups to each appliance are replicated to the other. While this replication delivers the required off-site storage, the integrated LTO4 drive in the second appliance allows tapes to be written for archiving purposes.

“Arkeia is great,” says Michael Carey, systems administrator at SORTA. “The deployment really is plug-and-play. I connected the appliance to the network, assigned an IP address, and it was up and running. Not only was it easy to configure, but the day-to-day management is simple. With the automated logs and email notifications I spend five to ten minutes a day managing backups.

“The combination of Arkeia’s Web user interface and command-line interface make remote administration easy. I appreciate the fact that Arkeia’s Web interface doesn’t require a specific JVM (java virtual machine) or a specific version of a specific browser. It just works.” Carey uses both Firefox and Chrome browsers to administer Arkeia.

“Much of my administrative work must be performed remotely,” continues Carey. “The appliances’ IPMI ports (for remote BIOS access via IP) are invaluable. They make it easy to control the appliances just as if I were in the same room. Firmware upgrades are simple and painless. When I have a question, Arkeia’s support team is amazingly responsive and easy to work with.

“Arkeia’s integrated Progressive Deduplication has exceeded my expectations. We’re seeing space savings of up to 97% (compression of 30-to-1). Deduplication allows us both to retain more restore points and to reduce the bandwidth we need to replicate backup sets over our WAN. It works without a hitch.

“The value of the Arkeia Backup Appliance has been incredible,” concludes Carey. “We evaluated solutions from Avamar and DataDomain, as well as a solution based on Backup Exec. They were more complex and much more expensive. We made the right choice.”