Tan Kay Chuan, divisional director, IT, ITE
SINGAPORE, APRIL 11, 2011-When Singapore's Institute of Technical Education (ITE) underwent a complete reorganisation of its business structure, the school's IT department saw a chance to upgrade its data management, storage and information security capabilities.
The strategic initiative resulted in a renewed focus on enhancing ITE's infrastructure to deliver optimised services for its students. However, it also posed a challenge of exponential data growth, increasing user expectations and rapidly emerging security threats.
"Supporting the 'One ITE System, Three Colleges' Model was a significant transition for our IT team. We had to put in place the central management of corporate IT functions, while allocating IT resources to support college-specific solutions. Keeping up with user demand for real-time access to information was a constant challenge," said Tan Kay Chuan, Divisional Director, Information Technology, ITE.
A statutory board under Singapore's Ministry of Education, ITE provides pre-employment training to secondary school leavers, and continuing education programmes to working adults.
Within the night
End-users, which include some 8,000 students and 3,000 staff members, expect instant responses to requests for data restores. Also, the school's Lotus e-mail system was not able to complete a full backup within the overnight backup window due to data growth.
The solution was the Symantec NetBackup 7 with a built-in deduplication engine. The platform was chosen for its well-integrated deduplication technology and robust support of VMware environments. Having used Netbackup since 2000, the IT team's familiarity with the system also made it an easier choice to go with Symantec.
Previously, the team had been backing its systems directly to tape. With the new Netbackup in place, the deduplicated data is now being replicated for transfer to tape after being kept for 90 days.
The IT team is now less dependent on slower tape technology, and instead use the more reliable disks. In addition, the deduplication enables the backup data to be transferred over the existing wide area network (WAN) link between the ITE campuses, eliminating the need to deploy a dedicated WAN link for backups. Crucially, the deduplication feature and high disk efficiency offered by the new solution helps the IT team complete backups within the night time window and spend less time restoring data.
ITE also adopted Veritas Storage Foundation and Veritas Cluster Server to provide failover for key systems in the event of hardware failure, for better system maintenance and to ensure high availability.
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