Stockport Council Case Study
As many as 80 Stockport schools ditched their ageing, time-intensive tape-based backup solution for Redstor’s pioneering data management technology in...
Rush to adopt Redstor data management
Schools ditch troublesome tape-based backup
Freedom to discover, manage and protect data
About AVA Technical Services
The AVA Technical Services team provide a comprehensive Information and Communication Technologies and Audio Visual service to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council schools. This includes quality, school-based support, maintenance and training, backed by full workshop repair facilities.
As many as 80 Stockport schools ditched their ageing, time-intensive tape-based backup solution for Redstor’s pioneering data management technology in the space of two months.
The prospect of a more efficient way to protect multi-terabytes of admin data - including crucial financial and sensitive documents - proved highly attractive, recalls Damian Hodkinson, software and IT Development Officer for Stockport Council’s AVA Technical Services.
Another major benefit has been Redstor’s ability to reduce the impact of security incidents, data breaches and hardware failure, while Damian also welcomes the development of a search facility that helps address ever-increasing regulations and compliance issues.
He said: “From a General Data Protection Regulation point of view, deleting data is likely to come into play very soon. I can see this getting very complicated because there will be different retention policies for different types of data.
“We’ll be working with our information governance team at the Town Hall to ensure that we deliver the right information to our schools and then, working with Redstor, to ensure that we are fully compliant.
“If any data needs to be deleted from previous backups or historical backups, then we should be able to do that from the advanced search feature that Redstor are developing.”
What’s good about the Redstor service for us is that it’s reliable. We know the data goes. We know the data comes back. We know it’s safe in transit.
The thing that sells it to the schools is that they no longer have to do anything. To know that their data is safe and that it just goes every single night without fail, without them having to think about it is very reassuring for them.
Damian Hodkinson, software and IT Development Officer
“We got the majority of our schools online ready to go very quickly. We were one of the fastest take-ups Redstor had done at the time. We went from no schools to 70 or 80 in a month or two.”
With intelligent, policy-driven automation, powerful monitoring and sophisticated reporting, Redstor allows the council’s IT support service to manage by exception and easily evidence compliance.
Redstor is designed to have minimal or no human intervention throughout its daily management. Cloud backups run to an automated schedule, allowing IT staff to back up data as little or as often as required, at the click of a button. There is no human error or risk.
Multiple copies of backups are held securely encrypted in UK data centres. The encryption key is set by the customer, ensuring no unauthorised access.
Redstor is far more efficient and far more reliable than our old backup solution when some schools would stick tapes in a box on top of a server.
When we had leaky pipes above server rooms, equipment was damaged . . . and what are you going to do if the server catches fire or there’s a flood? Moving backups offsite into the cloud has made a big difference.
- Recovering schools’ data speedily
- Need to replace schools’ ageing, time-intensive backup solution
- Difficulty finding expert support
- Addressing retention and compliance issues
- InstantData, Redstor’s unique on-demand streaming technology
- A data management solution that delivers reliable backup and recovery, archiving, disaster recovery and global search
- Support provided by an organisation that is both the technology vendor and infrastructure owner
- Intelligent, policy-driven automation and sophisticated reporting with a centralised management console, offering borderless visibility of entire, complex data estate at any time, on any device
- No need to wait for full recovery – schools gain immediate access to data
- IT team now manage by exception, reducing time spent on data management admin and visiting sites every week
- Fast 24/7/365 access to a support team that draws on 20 years’ knowledge and experience
- Discover, manage and control data on schools’ systems
The team at AVA Technical Services support most of Stockport’s schools.
Damian said: “We have nearly 100 schools and we back up nearly every admin server and the vast majority of curriculum servers. At the moment we are looking at 12TB of dynamic, changing data.
“We had an absolute nightmare with a school that we do not directly support – just provide the backup service to. One of the raid discs failed and a few hours later a second disc failed. That was it. Everything gone. Ultimately as the local authority, we have to get schools back up and running.”
Redstor’s cloud-to-cloud backup solution provides rapid restore for Office 365 and SaaS applications - and in the event of a catastrophic failure, a school’s data can also be physically transported via a removable storage device.
“We had to start from scratch and do it from the backups. Luckily we were able to do it by getting all the latest data back from Redstor.”
By delivering streamed, on-demand access to whatever data is needed, Redstor is ending downtime.
Data can be restored from the backup client, management console, through web access or via InstantData™, Redstor’s unique, user-driven streaming technology. There is no need to wait for a full recovery. At the click of a button, Redstor gets users up and running within seconds, not days.
Damian said: “Redstor worked a treat. Nothing was lost.”
Borderless visibility of data
Redstor unifies backup and recovery, archiving, and disaster recovery through a secure, central console, enabling borderless visibility of an organisation’s entire data estate at any time, on any device.
With a unique solution that is multi-tenanted and built for the cloud, AVA Technical Services are now able to discover, manage, control and protect the data of multiple schools with ease.
Running on servers, laptops and workstations, with backup selections profiled from the management console, Redstor provides rapid and granular restore for Office 365 and SaaS applications.
Damian said: “In the past if we had to get data back, it would have meant going out onsite, finding the tapes, digging through them, and putting in the right one. Thankfully we don’t have that any more.”
A liberated IT team
Deployed and configured in 15 minutes, Redstor has made data management tasks smaller and simpler for the schools that Stockport Council provide with IT support.
As well as delivering reliable backup and recovery, Redstor offers archiving, disaster recovery and global search.
Damian said: “The schools save loads of management time because they no longer have to think about backups any more. We took responsibility. It is a new service that we provide centrally. We manage the console. We make sure everything is backing up at night and nothing is going over quota. We get reports and know it has been successful.”
How quickly would you expect to get a school up and running if it lost its data?
- In minutes?
- In an hour?
- In less than two hours?
- In half a day?
- By the next day?
- Within two days?
Redstor’s clients have 24/7 access to a support team that draws on 20 years’ knowledge and experience within the storage and backup industry.
If AVA Technical Services ever need support, Damian has the reassurance that he and his colleagues are speaking to an organisation that is both the technology vendor and infrastructure owner.
Redstor also feeds all input directly into software development. That’s why the software is constantly improving in the way clients desire.
Damian said: “We use Redstor’s technical guys to develop the services and products that we offer. As a general rule, though, we do not have issues. I cannot remember the last time we rang the Redstor support desk for help.”
Redstor is trusted by more than 40,000 clients around the world to help discover, analyse, control and protect their critical data.
AVA Technical Services have been partners with Redstor for more than ten years.
Damian said: “Redstor are dynamic, forward-thinking and very trustworthy.
“It is an enterprise service that Redstor provides, but they still make sure that each and every customer is well looked after. I’ve spoken with many colleagues at conferences and I know they all feel the same about Redstor. It works really well.
“To get data back instantly - it is literally clicks. We have VMwares that we can spin up and allow the data to come back to – or if the school has simply just lost the drive and they need the data back, we put the new drive in.
“The drive is ready to go and even though it has nothing on it, we can just link it back to InstantData – and as far as the school and the users are concerned the data is all there.
“It might be coming back in the background but when the staff look at the shared area, they will see all their work and be able to pull the data back. Essentially for them it is seamless.
We promise our customers that we will look after their data and we have peace of mind knowing we can get that data back because Redstor is efficient and fast and if we need to download anything we can do it centrally. It works a treat."
Are you happy with the time it takes to monitor your backups every week?
- No, it takes far too long
- I’m sure it could be a bit quicker
- Yes, it hardly takes any time