As students and administrators seek anytime, anywhere access to the cloud, higher ed IT teams must face their fears and get to work.
When Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., moved to improve its backup system, it was very clear on its goals.
“We needed efficient and reliable backup that could work as part of our disaster recovery system,” explains Luzviminda Tolentino, computer specialist in the college’s user services department.
Backup is increasingly important because, as organizations virtualize, they need backup tools that support their new environments and offer recovery capabilities that can anchor a disaster recovery plan. Organizations also look for deduplication features in backup tools that allow more efficient use of disk space.
Tolentino says she and the staff looked at a number of backup products. In terms of overall features, ease of client use, administration, customer support and price, Druva was the clear winner.
“We went with Druva because it met all our requirements and was within our allocated budget,” she says.
Dickinson runs the Druva system on-premises. Tolentino says Druva helped them determine the hardware requirements and then helped them set up the server.
“Once that is done, it’s just a matter of downloading the client piece and activating it to the server,” Tolentino says. “The software is designed to automatically back up to the server without any intervention from the user.”
Tolentino says Druva comes with deduplication, which helps the college save on disk space. Druva also lets her use the same profile backup to transfer a user’s profile, settings and data to another computer for an operating system upgrade.
Jason Buffington, a principal analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group, says backup tools have mostly caught up with efforts by IT departments to virtualize their computing environments.
“We’re at a point where, for about 99 percent of the applications, there’s no longer any reason to write scripts,” Buffington says. “Without question, your backup solution today should be able to back up virtual machines, and come with embedded technology to back up VMs.”
Brandon Lovelace, a network specialist who supports about 20,000 registered students, says the college deployed a combination of Quantum’s DXi storage devices as well as Quantum vmPRO for backup and recovery.
“Before we deployed vmPRO, I used to have to write scripts to run backups in our VMware environment,” Lovelace says. “Now, with the tools in vmPRO, I get daily emails informing me of the status of backups, and I save about an hour or two a week of hand scripting.”