AM Lithography Case Study

Leading Print and Packaging Supplier Relies on Quantum Libraries for Protection and Archiving AM Lithography has grown into a major national printing enterprise during an era that has seen a transformation in typography and press services. When the company was founded more than 35 years ago, Macs and Windows PCs were all still off in the future, and there are entire business segments— like third-party typesetting—that have essentially disappeared during its lifetime. But the company, headquartered in Chicopee, Massachusetts, has changed, adopted new technology, and become a trusted, full-service print, packaging, and mail service provider to some of the world’s premier brands. “The printing industry today looks nothing like it did in 1983 when we were founded,” explains Fred Gamber, AM Lithography’s Director of Pre-press Services, “but AM Lithography has maintained the same mission through all the changes: give clients a one-stop shop to get all their printing needs fulfilled with the highest quality, fair prices, and great service.”


In the last two decades, a major part of the company’s success has been linked to how well it has adopted digital technology and used it to support its customer base. “We were early adopters of computerized type-setting, prepress, and mail service technology, and we have long recognized that IT services are a critical part of contemporary printing,” Gamber adds. “Today, what we get from customers are digital files with their original content, which we manage, process, and use to create finished material. Protecting that content, both for the short and the long term, is extremely important to us.” AM Lithography’s IT infrastructure uses mirrored 12 TB Red Hat Linux servers to handle the day-to-day operations. “Those servers have everything—including all the files that our customers send us. The data keeps growing every year, and we keep adding new technology and processes to protect it and keep it available.”


AM Lithography uses a 3-2-1 backup strategy for all of its data using backup software and Quantum tape libraries. “The IT team here has used Quantum libraries since long before I came to the company eleven years ago,” Gamber explains. “At first it was at the recommendation of our reseller—NAPC. They have helped us find the right technical solutions for years, they understand our business incredibly well, and helped us engineer and sustain a world-class workflow, backup and archive strategy.” The IT team uses daily incremental backups and weekly fulls, writing all the data to the Quantum library. “That gives us two copies,” Gamber explains, “the primary copy and another on tape. To provide the third copy, we periodically move tapes to an off-site location for longer term protection. That gives us both short term backup files for quick restores and long-term protection as part of disaster preparedness. Because the backups are on tape, they give us an important defense against cyberattacks like ransomware that can compromise files stored only on disk.”


In the same library but backup isn’t the only need. “We also use our Quantum library to provide a long-term archive for our work, and for that we use Archiware P5, software specifically designed to let us easily move files to tape for long term archive,” Gamber explains. “The interface is simple, anyone can retrieve files from tape quickly and easily, and it integrates easily with the Scalar library and its LTO drives and media. We can leave tapes in the library for quick access, and we can create duplicates to move off site for DR protection, as well.” Today the AM Lithography library is a Scalar i3 designed to provide mid-sized IT environments true, Enterprise-class data protection and archiving. The library can start as small as a single, 3U rack-mountable system, but it scales in 25-cartridge increments to accommodate data growth, eventually reaching a capacity of up to 12 Petabytes. The library uses Quantum capacity-on-demand, software-key based scaling to provide easy, and non-disruptive, economic growth. Best-in-class storage density and the industry’s most energy efficient power supplies minimize data center space and cooling requirements to keep costs low.


“The Quantum library is incredibly fast,” Gamber explains. “Backups all get finished within our allowed windows— even our weekly full backups only take a few hours—and recovery of files is also fast, almost instantaneous. Reliability has also been exemplary. Once the system was up and running, it just works—we go months at a time without having to look at it or think about it.” Recovery speed was important recently when one of the servers was taken out of commission by a cyberattack. “I admit to being nervous when I first heard about the attack, but all of our preparation and planning paid off big time. We had all the data safely on tape and we rebuilt the system in only a few hours. Nothing was lost and we were back up and working the same day.”


“AM Lithography has also thought of its clients as partners,” Gamber said. “We want to help them solve their print and packaging problems over the long term— and we pride ourselves on having many, many customers that have used our services for decades.” The company looks for the same approach in when it picks its vendors. “We put a premium on finding people we

can work with successfully for years— Quantum fits that pattern. We have used Quantum libraries over and over again, upgrading to the next generation of drives, media and platforms as our needs change. When an issue does come up, and they are rare, the company takes whatever action is needed to resolve it quickly.”

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