The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is an academic powerhouse. It transcends traditional boundaries of business education and research to transform critical thinking into practical solutions.
“Our job is to maintain the highest level of data availability,” said Chris Garlington, system administrator in the SC Johnson College of Business. “In addition to traditional data required by faculty, staff and students for teaching and learning, we have a tremendous amount of data based on decades of research, as well as data that helps run our hotel.”
The Statler Hotel is a living laboratory on Cornell’s campus that educates the world’s emerging hospitality leaders. Hundreds of students work alongside seasoned professionals to hone their skills across all hotel and restaurant operations. If data isn’t available, the hotel may not live up to its reputation as an award-winning, full-service luxury establishment.
Garlington said unreliable backup and recovery threatened data availability.
“We were using a combination of solutions to back up different IT systems, hypervisors, and servers. They were complicated and unreliable, so we had very high failure rates. We spent 20 hours each week trying to keep backups running successfully, but even if they did run successfully, we weren’t confident we could restore quickly. Business continuity became a big concern.”
The IT team replaced four backup solutions with one: Veeam Backup & Replication.
“Being able to back up our entire IT infrastructure under a single pane of glass is huge,” Garlington said. “But being able to tell leaders in the business college that we can recover their data almost instantly and maintain business continuity is even better.”
Garlington said the IT team chose Veeam because it can back up anything, beginning with different hypervisors (VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V) and continuing with clusters of SQL and file servers. Veeam Agents back up the clusters, along with physical servers hosting domain controllers.
Veeam backs up a total of 120 virtual servers (60 TBs) to Dell EMC Unity so quickly and reliably that the IT team saves 20 hours in troubleshooting time each week. Team members use this ‘extra’ time to work on a new business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) strategy based on cloud integration. Veeam will back up critical data to Wasabi hot cloud storage ’s object storage, which is certified S3 compatible.
Cornell’s BC and DR strategy takes advantage of a feature called Veeam Cloud Tier. It enables considerable cost savings on long-term retention because data is offloaded as blocks to object storage, leaving just the metadata in the main repository. The result is a space-saving, smaller footprint on Wasabi. Veeam offers Cloud Data Management™ to all organizations incorporating the cloud into their IT infrastructure.
“It’s obvious Veeam Software is passionate about availability because their solution will back up to anything,” Garlington said. “Veeam’s affordability is impressive too. When you combine our cost savings leveraging cloud storage with our time savings of 20 hours per week, the total is $50,000 each year.”
Garlington said the IT team will use the savings to fund additional technology that supports the SC Johnson College of Business, and it will be backed up by Veeam.
“Veeam affords us a wider scope of consideration when we look at new technology because it can back up everything,” he said. It’s very satisfying to focus on the future rather than fight fires like we did with legacy backup.”
Cornell is the federal landgrant institution of New York State, a privately endowed university and a member of the Ivy League. Founded in 1865 and based in Ithaca, Cornell has 60,000 students, faculty and staff on campuses in New York, Washington, D.C., Italy and Qatar.
Cornell is continually ranked as a top business school in the United States and the world by Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist, U.S. News & World Report and the Financial Times. The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is renowned for groundbreaking research and creative solutions that solve local and global problems. Data is key to everything going on in the SC Johnson College of Business, but unreliable backup and recovery threatened data availability and business continuity.