Havering Sixth Form College safeguards students’ files with Evault InfoStage®

By Phil Evans, Vice President of Sales Northern Europe at EVault

“It just does its thing, it’s simple, straightforward and stress-free.”

Hornchurch, UK-based Havering Sixth Form College offers a wide variety of GCSE, A-Level and vocational qualifications to students from the local area. Its mission: be an outstanding provider of full-time education for 16-19 year olds, embracing diversity and creating excellent opportunities for all.

Havering SFC required a better way to manage backed-up data for its 2000 students, many of whom relied on this when their files on their own PCs were lost or corrupted. This was critical to meeting deadlines, and to protecting files vital for public examinations.

Ready for Faster Recovery

The College’s legacy backup system was built on tape technology. This created problems. Backup to tape was slow, errors were frequent, and IT staff spent too much time managing the backup and recovery process.

Havering SFC students regularly needed files restored. As a result, IT staff spent two or three hours each day changing tapes on an eight-tape rack, manually looking for data. Speed was vital but often the process of returning files to students took hours, if not days.

“With so many students relying on the network, it makes a real difference to their education if we can return saved work to them so they get their essays finished on time,” says Pat McConalogue, Assistant Principal of Havering Sixth Form College.

IT staff found that more and more of their time was taken up manually searching, indexing, and moving tape cartridges as they looked for backed-up data. A single search could take several hours, and the volume of requests meant that other important IT tasks were pushed aside.

Eventually the college decided to upgrade to a modern, faster, disk-based solution.

Discovering the Value of Evault

McConalogue says “We liked EVault initially because the TCO over three or four years would work out more cost effectively than the competitors. The initial capital cost would be recouped with lower running costs and less cost in terms of man-hours managing the backup system.”

Deploying the solution took five days. Two servers were installed—one onsite, one offsite—by EVault partner SSIL Computer Services.

SSIL’s Michael Manster commented: “We initially ran a month-long trial backing up one file server, one SQL server and one Exchange server. Havering SFC immediately saw the time saving and ease of accessibility and decided to go with EVault.”

Rapid Recovery and Better Backups with EVault InfoStage

Havering SFC also noticed a startling improvement in performance. Manster described the benefit: “Our engineer has handed responsibility for this to Havering SFC’s IT staff. He doesn’t spend time changing tape over as the back up is automated. Data retrieval is so quick and easy that the help desk staff now manage it all. And since deploying EVault, no students have complained about data loss.”

With EVault, restores are much quicker, there is no need to change tapes, and students notice a difference in performance. They used to receive their data the day following a retrieval request. Now it happens near instantaneously.

Assistant Principal Pat McConalogue says, “EVault is a good product, it just sits there and works. There is no need to change tapes, to index them, there is no physical intervention needed at all. It just does its thing.”

“It is simple, straightforward, and stress-free,” concludes McConalogue. “Archiving the current year’s student data after they leave will be simple too. We will put that data on the EVault system and store it safely offsite.”

Seagate Services is exhibiting at Storage Expo 2008 the UK’s definitive event for data storage, information and content management. Now in its 8th year, the show features a comprehensive FREE education programme and over 100 exhibitors at the National Hall, Olympia, London from 15 - 16 October 2008 www.storage-expo.com

The Seagate Services Group, a division of Seagate Technology, specializes in storage management solutions which protect and manage businesses’ most valuable information. Built on the most advanced technologies, SaaS, managed services, and licensed software offerings are delivered, deployed, and managed in flexible ways to suit small to large businesses’ unique needs. The Seagate Services Group is comprised of three business units: Data Protection (EVault) for comprehensive data software and outsourced protection solutions for backup, recovery, archiving and business continuity, Recovery Services (Seagate Recovery Services) for data recovery, data migration and collection services; and E-Discovery (MetaLINCS and EVault Insight) for enterprise software and hosted solutions for intelligent E-Discovery. For more information, please visit http://services.seagate.com.

Source: StoragePR