He said the bulk of the accounting and e-mail data was moved onto the SAN within two weeks of starting the project. Now the company is migrating data being created as it upgrades the BizNet software to work with Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration software and Access database.
Benchmark last week moved to unify its backups by buying a Dell Inc. LTO-3 autoloader, based on the linear-tape open standard, that is consistent with the SAN. It performs tape backups using EMC Corp.'s Retrospect software.
Benchmark's clients include oil industry giants such as Halliburton Co. and Schlumberger Ltd.
"We're a midsize company, and it's hard to get to all the best practices we should be doing," Collins said. "We need a lot of bang for the buck because we're not able to throw a lot of people at a project." The SAN has become a key tool for meeting those requirements, he said.
Collins began evaluating backup and disaster recovery technologies more than a year ago, first an iSCSI SAN system from EqualLogic and then Fibre Channel and iSCSI technologies from EMC.