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Palm Beach County School District Tackles Copy Data and Saves $700,000 with Actifio


What are the unique challenges of supporting 180,000 students?

“Palm Beach County is a large county. We are the 11th largest in the nation. Nowadays in education, technology is not necessarily a tool, it’s a necessity. Schools cannot function when technology is not present. If students want to bring devices on campus, that possibility is there. We’ve made it so that the students can actually store data on servers. They don’t have to keep them on drives and things like that. Stuff is backed up for them. All of the teachers’ planning, all of their curriculum is online. A lot of the testing is online. A lot of the student information, that’s all online. So our clients or our users just expect things to be up. When you hit that power button, it turns on, they can log in, and they can get all their applications. When that doesn’t happen, that’s when we feel it.

We have been growing at such an enormous amount, our solution has always been add more storage, add more storage. That’s been the whole paradigm for years for us. And I think many people have fallen in to that. We currently have three applications that are doing our backups for us, and what has happened is we have three separate interfaces that we have to go to to do backups, to check back ups, to do restores. It’s made it very difficult for us reaching the SLAs that we’ve actually committed to in the past. Previously, our system administrator had deleted a two terabyte LUN. It was the file system for the district. For almost four days everyone from the superintendent on down, all of the administrators and the administrator building was shut down. It was a black eye for IT. We definitely felt that. And at that point, our CIO said, “We need to have a change. We need to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”

Once I saw Actifio and realized that the growth of data is not even our production system, it’s our non-production, our copy data that is causing all these issues. Actifio will now go in and manage that solution so we don’t have that growth anymore, and we don’t have to spend that money. On a weekly basis. We shut down and do backups and our maintenance, which is about three or four hours of work. With the Actifio product we could minimize that two minutes. We can refresh non production data at any point in time during the day or evening, and production will never have to go down. That is just a significant benefit.

One of the key things also that I saw in Actifio is that everything is SLA driven. To the auditors, to upper management, to the application owner, everyone now knows exactly what their SLA is and what we are going to supply for them. It’s that easy of a product so that everybody on my team now can be an Actifio administrator and I don’t have to dedicate any more to that process. They’re managing copy data. And to me, that was such an epiphany. It was so easy, so simple, but yet so much to the point to solve the storage issue. To me, that was just everything.”

Read the press release detailing the savings.