Staff work as normal by streaming data on demand
Server dies... but prioritised recovery ensures school is working normally within 30 minutes
InstantData - Redstor's unique, prioritised recovery feature - came to the rescue when a file server died at a school in the middle of preparing for GCSE and A-level exams. Under the school's previous contingency plans it would have taken up to three days to recover the 1TB of data and the 1,000 users back to work. However, staff and pupils at Howell's School in Cardiff were working as if nothing had happened by the time their second lesson of the day came around - thanks to Instant Data.
Instant Data allows users to stream back data on demand and start working immediately on whatever part of a file they have accessed - without having to wait for the full recovery.
It was my worst nightmare and Redstor was a lifesaver.''
Elliot Scott, ICT Operations Manager
Ability to get data back fast in event of disaster
Need for lengthy retention without ballooning storage
Reducing backup management overheads
Quick recovery and fast, cost-effective, secure offsite backup
Incremental remote backups ensure minimal data transfer by identifying and sending only changed data
Easy, automated intra-day backup
Fast, cost-effective offsite backup, reducing management time from 15 hours per week to minutes
Reduced Recovery Time Objective from three days to 30 minutes
Scales to accommodate school's increasing data
Expert support swiftly solves the problem
The file server that failed held vital course work and exam data as well as all resources in use by teachers. Elliot, who is responsible for the school's ICT infrastructure, said: ''When I came in on the Monday the whole file server was dead. It was the worst possible time it could have happened. We had A level and GCSE course work going off and we are just going into exam season.''
''This kind of scenario has always been a big concern of mine, so I already knew what I was going to do. I built up a new virtual server which has my Redstor information on it, so I knew everything was all backedup.''
I contacted Redstor, got through to the support team straight away and they were great, setting me up immediately."
Elliot Scott, ICT Operations Manager
Easy to deploy and use
It took Elliot no more than a couple of hours to build the replacement server, he said: ''As soon as it was up, I phoned Redstor and they gave me the link I needed. It was so easy to drag and drop into folders. Instant Data began transferring everything - it was fantastic. I emailed staff and students to tell them that their files would be instantly visible to them.''
Instant self-service recovery saves IT staff from hassle
With Redstor's backup solution, users complete their own restores at the click of a button, and crucially don't have to wait for anything else to be restored - just what they require. Files are opened as normal from original locations and by putting power in the hands of the users, IT staff are free to retrieve data and systems in the background without being hassled for updates.
Elliot said: "Redstor Pro gives you instant access - and we didn't notice any speed drops. I warned everyone that they might see a bit of delay when they were opening files because there were so many users trying to get their data at once - but the files were opening pretty much instantly."
InstantData all but ends downtime
Elliot is convinced his decision to move to Redstor Pro recently has been fully vindicated.
He said: ''If we had not switched I think we'd have had to courier a USB, an external hard disk or transfer the data across.
"But we would not have been able to access files straight away like we did with InstantData.
''Under the old system we would have taken two or three days possibly restoring the data - because we had 1TB of data coming across the network. Waiting for a full recovery to finish before we could start accessing files would have taken days.''
What is the main role, if any, that cloud is playing in your backup and recovery strategy?
- It's not
- Archive/long-term retention
- Store files short term
- Host Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and business continuity
- Backup PCs and other end user devices
- Run applications protected with cloud-based backup and recovery
Full recovery carries on unnoticed in background
Redstor Pro continued to recover everything in background, completing a full recovery on the second day, but Elliot said: Because of InstantData the users did not notice that we were still down. They thought we were back up and running. It was that seamless.
No more inconvenience from unreliable tapes
The school's previous backup solution required Elliot to manage and administer tape every day and he was more than happy to adopt a recommendation by the Girls' Day School Trust to switch to the cloud.
He said: ''I was sick of tapes. I had to change them every day and it was hard work keeping track of them all, remembering to put a new one in and not override the previous tape. It was also slow because you had to go through the whole tape - and there was the cost of buying the tapes and the drives.
''I'm not sure I would have been able to recover the data I had if I was still using tapes because I had a similar failure when I was putting a tape into a newly built server and it did not know what to do with the software because it was a different version.
''I would definitely recommend Redstor. A few schools were a bit nervous about going over to it, but it's a lifesaver.
"What could have been a disaster for our school turned out to be just another day.''