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Brigham Young University Implements High-Performance Data Backup & DR Platform

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Executive Summary
A scheduled backup software renewal presented Brigham Young University (BYU) an opportunity to modernize and add some critical functionality. They were looking for a comprehensive platform with advanced disaster recovery capabilities capable of a cloud-based offsite backup. BYU had implemented Actifio to backup between two on-site locations and implemented protection for hundreds of systems in just a few weeks. When it came time to a remote site DR function, BYU used Actifio to move DR to the cloud smoothly. Actifio’s simple installation and operation in combination with high-speed data backup and recovery, multi-tenancy, and responsive customer support have helped BYU to achieve both hard and soft cost savings.

Key Facts

Challenges: Data backup complexity and cost, lack of DR and cloud capabilities.

IT Environment: One on-site production data center; enterprise applications include registration, payroll, Oracle, SQL, HP 3PAR and Compellent storage; VMware, Red Hat, Dell X86 servers, Linux, Amazon S3

Solution: Partnered with Actifio

“Actifio support has been instrumental in our smooth implementation.”

DAVE PALICA , ENGINEERING MANAGER

Brigham Young University Overview

Brigham Young University is a private research university located in Provo, Utah, and owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The university’s primary emphasis is on under graduate education ,offering 179 majors. It also offers 62 master’s and 26 doctoral degree programs. In addition to the Provo location, the university operates satellite campuses in Jerusalem and Salt Lake City.

The Challenge

The upcoming renewal of their existing data backup platform presented the IT team at Brigham Young University (BYU) an opportunity to modernize and add some critical functionality. They wanted comprehensive disaster recovery capabilities and cloud-based offsite backup. Because their current platform’s foundation was built on an outdated code base, it couldn’t provide sufficient protection for critical applications, and data restoration could sometimes take days. Any replacement needed to be simple to operate, enable high performance, include straightforward cloud backup, provide multi-tenancy, and demonstrate responsive vendor support.

“My customers are other engineering groups, and disaster

recovery was a real concern for all of us. Our objective for this

initiative was to develop powerfulDRcapabilitiesthat increase

customer satisfaction while strengthening operational

confidence.”

DAVE PALICA , ENGINEERING MANAGER

The Solution

The BYU team began by researching available data backup platforms, including those featured in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. The advanced innovation offered by Actifio led to a proof of concept demonstration. “Actifio came on site to show us how it worked. To demonstrate restore speed, they deleted a one terabyte database and restored it from the snap pool. It was up and running again within two minutes and serving SQL requests,” said Palica. “The process was so fast; my reaction was ‘How did that happen?’ When they explained the technology, we knew we needed to pursue it.”

The speed was impressive, but multitenancy was also critical to support applications of separate campus departments. It had to be easy to set up and simple to operate. Also, their previous system could take hours and sometimes days to restore data, so demonstrated performance became an essential prerequisite for any replacement. Responsive support was also vital, and the cost was always a factor.

BYU had implemented Actifio to backup between two on-site locations creating backup protection for hundreds of systems. When it came time to perform a remote site DR function, Actifio moved DR to the cloud with ease. Actifio’s simple installation and operation, in combination with high-speed data backup and recovery, multitenancy, and responsive customer support, have helped BYU to eliminate its on-site DR location while lowering
both hard and soft costs.

Actifio met all of BYU’s requirements demonstrating cloud DR capabilities that competitors couldn’t match. Using Actifio, BYU instituted remote data backup and DR using the Amazon cloud and implementing hundreds of systems in just weeks. They have enabled users to self-administer, freeing time for the engineers. And time spent “babysitting” the system is reduced from several hours per day to almost none at all.

Benefits
• Successful implementation of high-performance data backup and recovery platform
• Implementation of the cloud-based offsite data repository and disaster recovery
• Ease of deployment for hundreds of systems in just a few weeks
• A smooth-running platform that has eliminated hours of daily troubleshooting and problem resolution
• Responsive support demonstrates excellent speed-to-resolution but is infrequently required
• Hard and soft cost savings over the previous solution