The Business Challenge
New England is prone to nor’easters, a winter storm infamous for hurricaneforce
winds, pounding rain and heavy sleet and snow. In 2018, four
nor’easters pummeled the region in three weeks, flooding communities,
knocking down power lines and destroying homes.
Nor’easters wreak havoc on school districts too. Several feet of snow and
ice walloped the Oyster River Cooperative School District that year, closing
schools for several days.
“Our schools close, but our IT systems have to keep running,” said Josh
Olstad, director of IT at the Oyster River Cooperative School District. “We’re
the largest employer in the area, so if our payroll system isn’t running and
our staff doesn’t receive paychecks, we’re hurting the local community.”
The local community’s population is nearly 21,000. The district employs
more than 400 people who spend thousands of dollars each week at local
businesses. Keeping the payroll system highly available is a top priority.
High availability is the new normal for today’s school districts. It enables
faster reaction to a district’s needs and greater agility during times of crisis,
including bad weather.
“When you live in New England, you have to be prepared for heavy snow and
ice each winter,” Olstad said. “You have to be resilient; you have to have a
safety net. Veeam is our safety net.”
The Veeam Solution
Veeam® Backup & Replication™ has helped the Oyster River Cooperative
School District maintain high availability of critical IT systems since 2016.
“Our payroll system would not have survived four nor’easters in three weeks
without Veeam, and our local economy would have paid the price,” Olstad said.
On one of the coldest days of the year, the district’s HVAC
malfunctioned, pulling subzero air into the data center. Servers couldn’t
function at 17° Fahrenheit, rendering the payroll system unavailable.
Veeam restored it in minutes.
“Restoring that system would have taken up to a month if we hadn’t
had Veeam, leaving staff without paychecks and the local economy
at risk,” said Ryan Moriarty, systems administrator at Oyster River
Cooperative School District.
Veeam ensures critical systems are available through reliable backup, recovery
and replication — three prerequisites the district didn’t have before Veeam.
“There’s something else about Veeam that’s unique,” Moriarty said. “It offers
the best technical support in the industry. I spent 30 to 40 hours on the
phone with the previous vendor, yet we never had a reliable backup. I spent
10 minutes on the phone with Veeam, and we had a new DR strategy.”
Veeam helped the district build a better DR strategy through replication.
“We can restore our entire IT infrastructure quickly and easily in a disaster
situation,” Moriarty said. “That’s data protection at its finest. Our most
critical systems will always be accessible.”
The student information system (SIS) is another critical system. It’s a hub
for student data that includes grades, transcripts and attendance. Veeam
keeps the SIS available so teachers can intervene when students struggle
in school, eliminating the risk of them failing or dropping out. The SIS also
supports district business, such as registration, enrollment and scheduling.
Veeam helps these processes stay on track.
“There’s another big benefit when you use Veeam,” Olstad said. “It’s
affordable. We save $10,000 annually, which is a lot for a small district with
2,200 students. In larger districts, a single high school serves that many
students. Veeam helps us maximize our investment in IT.”
Every district strives to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars. Oyster River
Cooperative School District surpassed that goal.
“There’s no better bang for the buck than Veeam,” Olstad said. “Our return
on investment is defined by money saved and features gained. I dare anyone
to find a better solution for data protection.”
- Ensures the payroll system is always available
“We sailed through four nor’easters in three weeks thanks to Veeam,”
Olstad said. “Our schools closed, but our staff received their paychecks.
Veeam helps us protect the local economy.”
- Facilitates the district’s first dependable DR strategy
“What impresses me most about Veeam is the ease of DR,” Moriarty said.
“Nothing will make you 100% confident in your DR strategy until you test
it and it works flawlessly.”
- Maximizes data protection and saves $10,000 in IT costs annually
“Veeam is affordable, and it comes with the best technical support in the
industry,” Olstad said. “You don’t need to look any further once you find
Veeam. It’s the industry leader for a reason. There’s nothing better and
more cost-effective than Veeam.”