Robert Stanley knows the importance of quality education. He’s reminded of it every day in the faces of students and hears it from parents who want the best learning experience for their kids.
As head of information technology for First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, the school that’s part of the church’s sprawling 35-acre campus counts on 24.7.365 Availability to help faculty deliver the quality education that parents pay for and students deserve. The school’s preschool-12 enrollment is the largest of nearly 36 ministries that serve the church’s 4,700-member congregation in Largo, Florida.
When Stanley joined First Baptist 10 years ago, he set out to cure what he called the “fear of restore.”
“It’s hard to express the cumbersome nature of the backup process then,” Stanley explained. “A vast majority of our data were at risk. I didn’t even know if I could restore. We weren’t backing up much then. We were running sync jobs so we at least had a flat copy. When we moved to tape, I had no way of knowing if I had good backups. You hope you don’t get calls from colleagues who say they’re missing this one file but don’t know when it was from.”
The consequences of not having reliable backup are extreme for First Baptist.
“Without data, we don’t know who our members are,” he said. “We can’t report giving. Staff can’t punch time clocks. For the school, teaching is impacted immediately. The worst thing that could happen would be for Microsoft Exchange or file servers to fail. Email, class plans, curriculum materials, presentations and digital records of all kinds would be inaccessible. An entire laboratory of 24 kids using virtual desktops would be offline. In our case, parents are our clients. If their kids sit idle in a lab that’s not working, it reflects poorly on the ministry.”
As the church and its ministries grew, so did data. It’s a story of 10s.
“Over 10 years, our backup data volume grew to over 10 terabytes, which conservatively is a 10-fold increase,” Stanley said.
“In addition, our staff and faculty grew to 210. Our thrift store generates between. Student enrollment has grown; our ministries have grown. We needed to protect this growing data and mitigate the danger of data loss through hardware failure or user actions.”
Veeam® Backup & Replication™ delivers 24.7.365 Availability of data so the ministry can deliver a quality education to 970 students enrolled at Indian Rocks Christian School.
Stanley said Veeam’s built-in duplication and compression increased retention of Microsoft Exchange backups from seven to 21 days.
“Previously a file-level restore that might have taken 24 hours now takes 30 minutes,” Stanley said. “That means I save a month or more of full-time labor. Veeam lets me do more with staff resources because we don’t have to babysit backups. We’re a small IT shop, but the cost and time savings Veeam offers lets us look and act bigger than we are. The ministry is asking for things that are enterprise features, but I don’t have the budget for an enterprise solution. With Veeam, I don’t need to go to my boss and say I need the enterprise version. We have everything we need at a price that’s reasonable.”
Stanley knows that email is the lifeblood of any organization. “If we have a call for discovery or need to supply data for an audit, you have to supply what’s asked and you have to show your records- retention policy. Veeam allows me to extend our record-retention period by two to three times. I can access the necessary records in a fraction of the time, and I know they’re accurate and complete.”
Veeam saved the day when the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted the school’s first-ever, level-two audit to certify the backgrounds of volunteers and staff working at the school.
“Law enforcement officials examined how data are stored, backed up and made available, who has file access and how. Because of Veeam, I was able to show backup and retention history quickly and easily. The audit didn’t turn my day upside down.”