Data Backup | News
Texas Wesleyan Speeds Backup and Disaster Recovery
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Texas Wesleyan University
recently moved its backup and disaster
recovery processes onto a new storage appliance and gained a reduction
in recovery time service level agreements from days to hours. The
2,800-student institution previously used tape for backup but sought a
new approach that was simpler to manage, more consistent and reliable,
and bolstered off-site disaster recovery.
The Fort Worth-based school adopted managed backup and recovery
services from Mainline Information Systems, which encompassed
of Actifio 100T
copy data storage systems. One appliance is located on
campus, where it copies data from servers and storage; the same data is
replicated to a second appliance located at Mainline's co-location data
center 40 miles away. In the five-year agreement the service is paid
for as a monthly subscription fee.
Should a failover be necessary, the Texas Wesleyan IT organization
turn on a virtualized server in its own data center to restore a
service directly from the remote appliance, reducing recovery time from
a possible five days to four hours.
"It was an easy choice. Once we found Actifio, we didn't renew the
of our prior backup tool and we eliminated the high five figure annual
tape cost of operations," said Kendra Ketchum, director of
infrastructure services. "We are fortunate that our CIO gives us the
freedom to try new products and to be innovative, something that can be
difficult to find at larger state universities."
Now, IT reports backup success closer to 100 percent than the
70 percent standard. And recovery processes have improved to 100
percent from 90 percent.
Ketchum noted that the university is experiencing about a 90 percent
reduction in data size due to the Mainline solution. "If it didn't
deduplicate data and then rehydrate it on the other end, we'd have to
pay up to 10 times the $500 monthly amount for a connection line."
The new backup set-up also came in handy during a transfer of Texas
Wesleyan's law school business to Texas A&M University, which
bought the law school in August 2013 after a 22-month sale process.
According to a case study that referenced the transfer, the IT
came up with a plan to connect the other institution to its appliance
over the network, allowing the Actifio unit to see Texas A&M's
servers and storage as recovery destinations. Texas A&M could
simply choose a restore process to move copies of the data and
virtualized servers to its own data center, eliminating downtime and
accelerating transfer of data.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.