Xitenys delivers managed backup and recovery solution for Wellington College saving 30 hours a month in administration overhead
With more school work created electronically, having a reliable data backup and recovery solution is vital for students and teachers alike. However, the need or data resiliency extends past the classroom and into the wider administration functions of each campus. With an integrated, cloud-based solution, IT managers can reduce the costs and complexity of ensure data is always safe and sound.
Wellington College was founded in 1859, and today the school is recognized as a leader in digital learning practices and technologies. In 2015 the College was named a Microsoft Showcase School in recognition of its innovative and forward-thinking use of IT in the classroom. Students and staff make extensive use of tablets, along with Office 365, SharePoint, and OneNote in highly collaborative lessons.
IT Director Tony Whelton is one of the driving forces behind Wellington’s commitment to digital learning but with only a small team, one of his top criteria for choosing technology is simplicity. “Our top concern is always the well-being of the kids but with limited resources, anything we can do that helps streamline our work is critical.”
Following a successful server migration and content inspection project, the IT team next turned its attention to insuring that the College’s infrastructure following the recent refreshes was as protected from any form of service disruption. As an organisation that has embraced the cloud through its use of Microsoft Office 365 and cloud-based file storage repositories, the College began evaluating whether it could provide additional levels of protection to avoid any single point of failure.
“Recovering lost data on a single student’s notebook can take hours of work,” says Whelton. “And that’s not only a strain on our resources, it’s also very stressful for the student, who just wants to get back to studying.”
“Although Office 365 is a great environment for application access and collaboration, the backup and recovery capabilities are somewhat weaker than our on-premise systems,” explains Whelton. “We also needed a lot more granularity around information lifecycle to ensure that certain data sets and critical files are always retained in a secure yet accessible manner.”
Whelton discussed the options with Xitenys and began looking at a Managed Cloud Backup, archive and security service. The Barracuda Essentials solution provides an additional set of features to protect its email from malware with a granular level of backup for its key databases and file sets which are replicated from its Office 365 environment to the cloud.
“The combination of security, archiving, and backup across the whole of Office 365 means we’ll save a lot time just by managing all that trough a single pane of glass – It is essentially belt, braces and everything else you can think of,” quips Whelton, “…and in terms of operations, if something is accidentally deleted in Office, we can recover it from the backup in a just a few minutes instead of having to perform a time consuming full-scale restoration.”
Since implementation, the benefits have been substantial. “We’re saving about 30 hours a month in IT staff time thanks to Essentials—which means it’s paying for itself very rapidly,” says Whelton. “At least seven times in the last term, students reported accidentally deleting data during a class, and we were able to restore that data in real time, before the class was over. That simply wasn’t possible before.”
The solution is also providing a critical protection against ransomware attacks. “One teacher was abroad when ransomware encrypted their OneNote data, but with Essentials it was almost trivial to delete the corrupted data and restore it from backup.”
As Whelton explains, “Xitenys brought the service to our attention and were with us during the implementation. The solution is delivering a higher level of data resiliency for the College with a much lower management overhead than we had previously when it came to data backup and recovery.”