With Lowanna College’s shift to focus on digital-based learning, the IT operations team’s ability to maintain smooth and effective data management capabilities plays a decisive role in the students’ learning outcomes. Lowanna’s resources and learning environment are about 95% virtualised, so it is critical that data remains available to maintain operational efficiency.
IT Operations Manager at Lowanna College, Matt Robinson, plays a crucial role in data management. It is Robinson’s responsibility to ensure that the College’s most crucial online assets and services run smoothly. This includes the school library system, staff and student ID photos, saved work, lesson plans and worksheets, as well as two of the most important IT services at the College – the work experience database and printing system.
“It is crucial for us to have the ability to instantly recover any document or service in the event of unforeseen circumstances that lead to the loss of the primary source,” said Robinson.
Lowanna trusts Veeam in ensuring data is available, so students and teachers can easily access educational resources and tools both online and on-premises. Veeam is hosted on a standalone backup server with a secondary replication server in another building on campus. In addition, a secondary cluster server is used for backup for quick failover in the event of a major outage in the primary building.
Veeam’s solution provides peace of mind with the assurance that if such a disaster was to occur, data would be restored swiftly and securely without severe disruption to the college, which is a major boost to productivity. More importantly, data availability helps the college ensure the safety and welfare of its students.
“The school work experience server controls and manages all the work experience placements and data for all our students from Years 9 to 12. [Constant availability] is important so we know when students are out on work experience, where they are and how to contact them. We can’t be losing kids out in the world!”, Robinson shared.
Lowanna College also reaped huge benefits from using Veeam to improve printing services at the school and ensure their servers are working swiftly and consistently.
“Printing is the one absolutely critical in-house service we can’t afford to go down. We run Papercut Print services which controls 10 copiers with a total of 1,020 users,” shared IT Associate Administrator, Brayden Hatfield.
Recently, a corrupt printer was installed at Lowanna and crippled the whole server. The printing system died momentarily and prevented all users from accessing the system. Fortunately, the problem was solved within just three minutes, thanks to Veeam’s VM restoration capabilities.
Hatfield explained, “I jumped on Veeam and just did a full restore to that VM at the point in time it was last backed up, and within around three or four minutes, everyone was back to printing again.”
Lowanna College is also exploring Veeam’s offering for backing up Microsoft Office 365. They are now able to back up key stakeholders’ OneDrive which has already been beneficial and time-saving. The IT team is now able to easily recover documents that have accidentally been deleted from eight months ago.
Hatfield recalled, “We had a teacher who had accidentally deleted an entire folder of their predecessor’s work and because it was over the threshold of Office 365 recovery, we weren’t able to restore it. But luckily, because I’d decided to do the backup using Veeam, we were able to save it.”
Trustworthy solution that saves time with 100% success rate
“In schools, you simply don’t have time to be monitoring equipment every day. You just have to trust that it’s going to work, and Veeam works so well that we’re confident everything is operating as it should. It’s never failed us,” said IT Associate Administrator, Brayden Hatfield.
Easy to use with a “set-up-and-forget” approach
“Veeam strives for an easy-to-use and seamless installation for all individuals and businesses. It has a ‘simple to set up and forget’ approach. We don’t have to think about it, and nothing gets missed, so that gives us time to focus on business-critical tasks,” said IT Associate Administrator, Brayden Hatfield.
Constant accountability for students’ whereabouts and safety on student work experience
“The school work experience server controls and manages all the work experience placements and data for all our students from Years 9 to 12. [Constant availability] is important so we know when students are out on work experience, where they are and how to contact them. We can’t be losing kids out in the world!”, said IT Operations Manager, Matt Robinson.
Lowanna College is a secondary school in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. It educates around 1,000 students from Years 7 to 12 and offers a holistic education with a diverse range of teaching methods. The College is one of three large government secondary education providers in the Latrobe Valley with a clear will to establish itself as a centre of educational excellence. The College is committed to preparing young people for a technological world and has built a state-wide reputation as a leader in the effective use of learning technologies.
Prior to using Veeam, Lowanna College’s IT administrators had ongoing issues with infrastructure management. The previous software was difficult to install, use and maintain. This is problematic in a school environment where IT administrators are often stretched to capacity. Therefore, freeing up time and effort from running fundamental operations was vital for the IT department to focus on mission-critical tasks, and upgrade the digital experience of both students and staff to improve educational outcomes. With all their data fully owned and managed in-house, Lowanna College needed to find and deploy an effective Cloud Data Management solution quickly