Mar 28 2019

World Backup Day: 3 Data Storage Success Stories in Higher Education

Flash storage, hybrid cloud models and full cloud integrations help universities keep their data secure.

Universities deal with large amounts of data every day, from student information to intellectual property. This makes it essential to have a robust backup system in place. With World Backup Day approaching, now is the time for higher education institutions to consider their own solutions.

From ransomware attacks to natural and man-made disasters, the risks to data can present themselves at any time, and the cost of being without a recovery plan can be immense. In 2018, the cost of a data breach reached as high as $260 per record, according to a Ponemon report.

Whether they’re using flash storage systems, hybrid cloud models or full-cloud integration, campuses should be sure their data is safe in the event of an unforeseen catastrophe.

MORE FROM EDTECH: See how universities can prepare for disaster recovery by prioritizing data assets.

1. Flash Storage Makes Data Backup Fast and Painless

Because university IT teams are tasked with the maintenance and support of large swaths of data, storage systems must be fast and efficient.

At the Davenport University in Michigan, CIO Ben Williams and his team were experiencing significant bottlenecks during data backups, making the process cumbersome.

Using Pure Storage Forever Flash solid-state driver arrays, the team can now back up and analyze data in one hour instead of three. 

“We’d schedule a job, and the next day we’d see the results,” Williams tells EdTech. “With the new SSD storage systems, we’re seeing significantly faster results on both the database side and on the job server.”

2. Hybrid Cloud Storage Model Offers Universities Multiple Options

When James Tagliareni arrived at Washburn University in Kansas as the new chief information officer, only 20 percent of the institution’s critical data was backed up, a fact that concerned him.

“I used to jokingly say, but with some sincerity, that the quickest way to get fired in IT is to mess up on people’s data,” Tagliareni tells EdTech. “If I started here and within two months we had a tornado, people would ask me, ‘Why didn’t you have it backed up? We thought that’s your job, to make sure everything is covered.’ It’s extremely important to have a good backup solution.”

With the support of his team, Tagliareni integrated a Barracuda Backup 1091 server to store data from the institution’s 215 virtual servers onsite and in the cloud.

Now, whether facing tornados, malicious hackers or user mistakes, university data can be easily restored in as few as 5 to 10 minutes.

MORE FROM EDTECH: Read more about how solid-state storage boosts speed and cuts downtime for campus IT.

3. Cloud Storage Secures Data Safely and Easily Offsite

All-in-one cloud storage solutions can simplify the backup process by unifying data under a single API. 

At the University of Minnesota, on-premises storage units were constantly under attack from unforeseen events. 

When a single squirrel nearly destroyed a campus data center, Steve Nguyen, IT service director for collaboration and web content services, decided it was time to find a new solution. “All credibility and trust with IT went out the window that day,” Nguyen said at Google Cloud Next, Google’s 2018 annual cloud conference.

Nguyen and his team transitioned the university to Google Cloud, moving all data to a secure location that users can access without fear of any stray campus animals destroying their files. 

Regardless of which solution universities choose to fit their campus needs, assuring fast and easy data recovery can help IT leaders and campus residents rest easy.

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