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Agricultural University in the UK increases availability with Veeam

Margi Murphy | June 2, 2014
Previously students and staff could only use IT between 9am and 5pm on weekdays

Moulton College has reduced its virtualised IT systems' backup time by 70 percent since deploying Veeam software, offering students much better access to IT services.

The Northamptonshire university offers learning across 485 hectares, some of which is used for commercial farming, to 3,800 students. After moving to an almost entirely virtualised environment, the IT department found that their legacy backup software was not up to task.

Despite taking tough decisions on what data was feasible to store, the backup window lasted 14 hours per day, and from 9am to 5pm students and staff could not access the primary infrastructure. The team also ran four complete backups over each weekend.

"This caused disruption for students and staff who couldn't access learning environments or other IT services during this time. We also couldn't guarantee that services could be recovered quickly and consistently", said Giles Batchelor, network development and services manager for Moulton College.

"With our staff and students spread over a number of locations across the country, and a relatively small IT budget, having a near-100% virtualised IT environment was an important part of giving us the IT capability and flexibility we needed.

"However, our legacy, agent-based backup solution simply wasn't up to the task of protecting the virtual environment", he added.

After implementing Veeam Backup and Replication v6.5, followed by an upgrade to version 7, the college said it can back up its entire virtual infrastructure in four hours, up from 14. Backup can now be performed overnight to avoid student or staff disruption. Weekend backups, the team said, had also been reduced from four to two.

Moulton College believes that if it ever does have to recover a virtual machine, it will take minutes rather than the hours expected of its legacy software.

A recent study found that enterprises are failing to gain the full benefits of virtualised architectures, according to research, with companies suffering from poor data backup and recovery strategies and inadequate data protection.


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