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Warrington Collegiate

Company:

Located in northwest England, Warrington Collegiate provides a broad and integrated range of vocational curricula to students from ages 14 to 90.

Challenge:

Find the best product on the market to maintain business continuity by restoring VMs in five minutes or less.

Results:

  • Backup speed increases 96 percent
  • Five-minute RTO diminishes downtime
  • Automatic recovery verification and individual item recovery save time

The Business Challenge

Like many organizations in the public sector, Warrington Collegiate receives reduced funding during slow economic times. Like most IT teams in the public sector, Warrington Collegiate’s team is asked to do more with less and provide the same level of service and support.

Nick Smeltzer, Director of IT Services for Warrington Collegiate, and his colleagues proved they could do more with less through virtualization. “Virtualization was definitely the right path for us, but we couldn’t find a cost-effective and reliable backup solution that provided fast file-level recovery for multiple operating systems, not just Windows,” he said. “Without solid data protection, we didn’t feel comfortable virtualizing mission-critical systems, but we knew that expanding our virtual environment was one of the best ways to conserve energy and save money.” 

The Veeam Solution

Smeltzer and his colleagues chose Veeam® Backup & Replication™ to protect their virtual machines (VMs). “Veeam is fast, cost-effective and easy to use, not to mention reliable, which means we can sleep at night,” he said. “Veeam is the reason we expanded our VMware infrastructure to include mission-critical systems.”

Nearly 100 percent of Warrington Collegiate’s IT infrastructure has been virtualized, resulting in six hosts and 80 VMs that run every system needed for day-to-day operations, including financial applications, web and email servers, and a student records system.

“The IT team also supports 7,000 students and 450 staff,” Smeltzer said. “And this is where Veeam is really helpful once again. When tearful students come to us because they lost Word files, or if one of our database administrators inadvertently drops a table from SQL Server, we can retrieve the file, any file, from any operating system in minutes. Our previous backup solution backed up to tape, and recovering a file from tape could take up to two hours. Veeam lets us back up directly to the storage area network, so file-level recovery takes two minutes rather than two hours, making us heroes.”

Veeam Backup & Replication helped Warrington Collegiate’s IT team achieve hero status again during a disaster recovery audit. Since the college receives government funding, the team must prove it can recover data in the event of a disaster. “We received a glowing report,” Smeltzer said. “The auditors told us they had complete faith in our ability to recover files fast, and that’s because of Veeam.”

Warrington Collegiate’s IT team isn’t the only hero on campus. The Facilities team is heroic as well. The IT and Facilities teams combined conservation efforts, leading the college to multiple national awards and recognition for boosting energy efficiency, increasing sustainability and reducing the campus’ carbon footprint. In only 12 months, their efforts helped reduce the college’s electricity consumption by 600,000 kilowatts (6.7 percent), saving approximately £10,000.

The Results

Fast, frequent and reliable backups
Veeam Backup & Replication is built specifically for virtual environments to provide fast and reliable backup and recovery of VMs. Veeam technology enables lightningfast incremental backups at Warrington Collegiate, which minimizes backup time and allows for more frequent backups. “We are confident that our data is fully protected with Veeam,” Smeltzer said.

File-level recovery from any file and operating system
Veeam Backup & Replication lets the IT team at Warrington Collegiate quickly recover a guest file directly from an image-level backup without having to extract the backup and restore the VM.

Expanded VMware environment decreases energy consumption, wins accolades The IT team at Warrington Collegiate said it wouldn’t have expanded the VMware environment to include mission-critical systems without a fast and reliable backup solution. “Veeam Backup & Replication has enabled us to extend virtualization and decrease our energy consumption, which saved money, reduced our environmental impact and earned us several Green awards,” Smeltzer concluded.

Warrington Collegiate
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