Stonyhurst College Case Study
The archiving capability within Redstor’s fully-automated, policy-driven data management solution enables organisations to move infrequently accessed...
Redstor archiving saves Stonyhurst College £12,000
Top school frees up extra storage for data
College avoids capital expenditure
. . . and staff free up hours of management time every week
Stonyhurst College, together with its preparatory school, is the UK’s leading 3-18 independent Catholic school. It is the oldest continuously active Jesuit school in the world and in 2018 it celebrates its 425th anniversary. It has an outstanding academic record, with many pupils going on to top universities in the UK, Europe and around the world.
IT staff at Stonyhurst College saved £12,000 in capital expenditure and hours of management time every week by choosing Redstor to back up, recover and archive data.
The archiving capability within Redstor’s fully-automated, policy-driven data management solution enables organisations to move infrequently accessed data to the cloud, freeing up valuable space on expensive primary systems.
Paul Wilmore, Director of Technical Services at Stonyhurst College, said: “Redstor has enabled us to free up around 7TB of on-premises storage which is now being reprovisioned for other purposes. That was a very quick, easy win for us.
IT staff have complete control of what is archived, and when - and archived data remains extremely easy to access with InstantData, Redstor’s unique streaming technology.
We are making the most of available storage in the cloud. For Office 365, we have moved user storage out to One Drive. Cloud mapping software then presents that as if it was local network storage. By utilising that technology, along with Redstor, we are looking at cost savings of £12,000 in extra storage. That’s what we would have had to pay this year to upgrade both the production and the DR onsite for additional backup capacity, had we not gone down the route we’ve taken."
- Facing considerable capital expenditure to upgrade backup capacity following data growth
- Delays in accessing backed up and archived data
- High management overheads associated with archiving and backing up data
- Finding a secure and effective solution that provides backup and recovery, archiving, disaster recovery and delivers quick time to value
- Sweat existing assets for longer by archiving 7TB of data with Redstor
- Implement InstantData, Redstor’s unique on-demand streaming technology
- Use centralised management console for borderless visibility
- Seamless and rapid implementation of offsite backup and archiving as well as search and insight
- Avoided paying £12,000 in capital expenditure by freeing up 7TB of expensive primary storage
- Downtime all but ended, time to access archived data all but eliminated
- Time spent administering data management tasks each morning is reduced by 20 minutes, allowing staff to focus on adding value
- Installation of Redstor on servers took just 20 minutes, delivering guaranteed security with data encrypted at source
Ability to restore lost files instantly
Downtime now a thing of the past
Ability to restore lost files instantly makes downtime a thing of the past
Having access to all data at any time is vital to a prestigious school, whose ex-pupils include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes.
Paul said: “On occasions users have accidentally deleted files. Recalling them with Redstor was very straightforward, though. Restores are typically completed within five minutes of being reported to our service desk.”
By streaming data for instant access from any location, Redstor’s InstantData has made downtime a thing of the past for Stonyhurst College.
What is your most important consideration when choosing an archiving solution?
- Freeing up capacity and sweating existing assets
- Avoiding archiving on unreliable tape
- Minimising management overheads
- Eliminating delays in accessing archived data
Extra resilience for full system recovery
Stonyhurst College’s data is stored in a virtualised environment with a failover disaster recovery site which directly replicates the production environment. Redstor allows organisations to recover physical, virtual or cloud-hosted machines to VMware or Hyper-V in just a few clicks – or to migrate them between hypervisors.
Whilst we have a DR site in place and ways of restoring VMs, Redstor is there for a worst-case scenario. The resilience Redstor brings is not something that we’d be able to easily replicate on premises at a price point we could afford.
How Redstor is ending downtime
Time taken to retrieve archived files is all but eliminated
IT staff at Stonyhurst College were keen to eliminate delays in accessing archived files.
Paul said: “We have traditionally restored archived data in two ways – either from a volume shadow copy of a main data server, which takes up a large amount of data on prem, or by using the product we have that backs up onto two appliances in house.
“Although the process with that product is nowhere near as lengthy as restoring from a tape library, it still takes about 10 minutes to track a file down and get it back.
“Redstor has all but eliminated the time it takes to make a file accessible to our end users.”
There are fewer clicks to get to the data you are after and it’s a nice clean interface to work from. Redstor pretty much has all the functions you need - as opposed to a whole host of functions you don’t need. We are now looking to use Redstor for all of our archiving.”
With InstantData, files that are being archived are replaced with stub files. Ease of access to this archived data remains unchanged, though, as does the user experience, because these stub files open instantly as if they were stored on local disk.
Simplified data management enables IT staff to focus on adding value
Redstor is managed through a centralised management console that provides IT administrators with borderless visibility, control and ownership of the backup and restore process, as well as archiving and global insight.
Intelligent, policy-driven automation and advanced reporting delivers true management by exception, saving time and enabling IT staff to focus on adding value rather than fire-fighting.
Paul said: “A lot of the manual monitoring processes we were doing beforehand are now taken care of. On a day-to-day basis there is little involvement other than picking up any issues that crop up on the log files. Redstor has reduced the amount of time we spent administering the system by about 20 minutes each morning.”
Minimal training necessary
Time to value in minutes
Stonyhurst College needed a solution that is easy to install and does not require extensive training.
The actual deployment of Redstor, configuring each server, was about a 20-minute process, then we were up and running."
“In terms of training, we spent no more than five minutes with the key service desk staff, just going through the main functionality of the system. Technicians deal only with the areas they need to, as opposed to having to filter through various advanced recovery and archiving tools to get to the data.”
Transparent pricing and scalable to meet changing requirements
Being able to budget with confidence was important to Stonyhurst College, a top co-educational independent school for 460 pupils in Clitheroe, Lancashire.
With Redstor there is no capital expenditure outlay, no complicated renewal or licensing and crucially charges are fully transparent and predictable.
Organisations only pay for the data they select so the cost can be scaled up or down as demand changes.
The software, the cloud platform and expert support all come for a predictable monthly per GB/TB cost.
That flexibility to amend the overall limit available to us is ideal really. It is just a case of paying for any additional data and that can be applied seamlessly across the servers.
It makes it a lot easier to budget in terms of what we are going to need and what it is going to cost specifically from a backup perspective.
We would previously have had to go out and incur hardware costs and additional licensing costs, whereas now it’s just a case of dealing with Redstor and upping our backup on a set rate.
With data growing exponentially, how easy is it to budget accurately?
- Almost impossible
“The product does exactly what it says on the tin. It requires minimal management and we get a single point of contact for the whole process.
“Redstor is very approachable and listened to what our requirements were. “The support desk is always responsive. Whenever we’ve had any issues, we’ve had a resolution the same day – you can’t really ask for much more than that.”