Altaro Software Ltd. announced on what would have been their first UCISA conference opening day, that the White Horse Federation, a multi-academy trust, has selected its VM Backup to backup data at over 32 primary and secondary schools across Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Swindon.
The federation’s 23-strong IT team was becoming increasingly distracted by backup issues, time-consuming logistics and the need to physically move backups from one location to another. It sought a solution that would address their main problems: failing backup restores and escalating pricing.
It provides infrastructure services – including backup and recovery – from its Swindon HQ. Mark Weller, White Horse’s IT director and data protection officer, wanted to centralise processes and manage all backups from a single pane of glass.
“Many hours were wasted dealing with distracting backup issues, cumbersome in nature, or physically co-ordinating backups between schools. Now that Altaro’s Cloud Management Console sits in place seamlessly backing up data, IT have been able to focus instead on driving greater technology benefits that positively impact teaching and students,” he said.
The Trusts’ pain began when their previous supplier’s virtual backup solution started causing issues despite coming from a company with whom they had enjoyed a 3-year relationship. Two significant problems arose: their former virtual backup solution for 150 VMs had sharply deteriorated, causing considerable stress with errors and declining support levels, culminating in failed restores; and the pricing model moved from acceptable to incredibly expensive, including features surplus to the Trust’s requirements.
The Trust began evaluating alternatives, with a dive trial with Altaro VM Backup.
Single console to manage all backups
“In testing, compared to our former solution, Altaro VM Backup’s slim-line functionality and features suited our environment far better. It is not bloated or exaggerated with add-ons that we never use. It just works seamlessly, time and time again, and that’s what we are looking for to protect our schools,” Weller explained.
Testing over, and with the business case accepted, creative leasing options were offered to match financial expectations. Install of VM Backup using the cloud management console was classified as easy with 14 schools going live in one hit – all within hours, centrally monitored without issues across the schools estate.
In the install, schools were paired to allow for widespread DR. Technicians installed mirrored local copies to provide for replication of data and apps should a worst-case scenario occur at one site.
“Loss of data in a disaster scenario would have had an extreme negative impact on learning. Now, hours of teaching plans, coursework, shared teacher resources and student work are secured across a private internet network with physical storage at each school.“
Full restore with zero data loss
Real proof only comes when fast restores are necessitated and the Trust tested that in the first few months with a fast restore with zero data loss as a result of ageing hardware at a school.
For cost savings per terabyte, Altaro’s augmented de-dupe feature gives around 45% reduction in terabyte capacity, hence achieving gains for onsite storage budgeting.
“Altaro have offered a robust backup and DR solution. As a vendor, they went to exceptional lengths to listen and understand our requirements, our cost issues and proactively suggest solutions to take us to the next level of seamless backup as easily as possible.“
David Vella, CEO, Altaro said: “We are very pleased that White Horse Federation has chosen VM Backup as their backup software of choice. Reliable backups are critical to any organisation and our goal is to help customers, like White Horse, do so in cost-effective and seamless manner.“