CNL Financial Group Chooses NetApp and Decru for Uncompromised Storage Security

Sunnyvale, Calif. - January 3, 2006 -- Network Appliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced that Orlando, Florida-based CNL Financial Group (CNL), one of the nation's largest privately held real estate investment, development, and finance companies, reduced its backup and recovery times by as much as 90% by upgrading to a tiered storage infrastructure based on NetApp® unified storage systems, VERITAS® NetBackup™ software, and Decru DataFort™ storage security appliances. Designed to maximize availability while protecting critical client investment data, the new disk-based backup and recovery architecture provides CNL with comprehensive data protection, business continuity in the event of disasters, and uncompromised security of data on tapes shipped off-site.

"We began rethinking our storage strategy after witnessing firsthand the impact of three consecutive hurricanes in 2004," explained Joel Schwalbe, CNL's vice president of technical services. "At the time we relied on a traditional tape backup strategy. Based on our experience, we know that restoring data from tape to remote backup servers takes at least 48 hours, which was no longer an acceptable timeframe for our business. Another thing we learned last year was that we needed to automate disaster recovery processes as much as possible to make sure that data comes online automatically even in the event of an emergency."

Like many financial institutions, CNL had relied on a mixed storage environment that included networked storage, multiple direct-attached storage (DAS) servers, and nightly backups to tape. To achieve its goals, CNL replaced its legacy architecture with a NetApp iSCSI and network-attached storage (NAS) solution. A Microsoft® Exchange 2003 e-mail environment supporting more than 1,400 mailboxes, file shares, and Windows® boot images is now mirrored from a NetApp fabric-attached storage (FAS) system in Orlando to a NearStore® system in Georgia every 15 minutes. Ongoing incremental and full volume backups of system data to tape are performed with VERITAS NetBackup. CNL also added clustered Decru DataFort storage security appliances to secure client information by encrypting backup data on tape before sending it off-site.

The tiered storage architecture has enabled CNL to notably improve its ability to respond to any event, ranging from an accidental file deletion to a complete site disaster. Tools such as SnapManager® for Exchange and Single Mailbox Recovery software enable help desk personnel to perform user-level mailbox or message restores in 10 minutes or less, as opposed to the average of six hours required before. In addition, the ability to create a point-in-time Snapshot™ copy in seconds as opposed to minutes-if not hours-for a tape backup has substantially reduced maintenance windows.

"Deploying a NetApp iSCSI storage solution enabled us to almost eliminate planned and unplanned downtime and improve Exchange uptime to 99.8%," said Schwalbe. "NetApp has helped CNL move from having a weekly Exchange outage to having no outages in the past three months with the NetApp iSCSI storage solution. More importantly, when you have all your applications in a shared spot, disaster recovery becomes much easier to implement."

The previous 48-hour recovery time objective has been slashed to less than eight hours, with many of the processes fully automated. The company has seen significant cost reductions in tape media and backup/restore-related support costs. CNL is also realizing performance improvements that directly impact productivity.

"The NetApp architecture enables IT to be a more strategic asset," said Schwalbe. "With our clients' investments at stake, securing this data is of paramount importance, and we are confident this solution will keep our clients' critical data safe and available."

For more details on DataFort, see

About CNL Financial Group, Inc.
With $13 billion in assets currently under management, CNL Financial Group, Inc. (CNL) is one of the nation's largest, privately held real estate investment, development and finance companies. Since its inception in 1973, CNL has formed or acquired companies with more than $17 billion in assets, including hotels, retail, restaurants, seniors' housing and leisure properties. For more information, visit

About Network Appliance
Network Appliance is a world leader in unified storage solutions for today's data-intensive enterprise. Since its inception in 1992, Network Appliance has delivered technology, product, and partner firsts that simplify data management. Information about Network Appliance™ solutions and services is available at

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