IT Infrastructure

Texas Wesleyan University Shortens Disaster Recovery from Days to Hours and Streamlines Backup with Zero Capital Expense

COMPANY: Texas Wesleyan University
HEADQUARTERS: Fort Worth, Texas
EMPLOYEES: 517 full and part-time

“It was an easy choice. We didn’t renew the cost of our prior backup tool, and we eliminated a high five-figure annual tape cost of operations.” Kendra Ketchum

Director of infrastructure at Texas Wesleyan., Texas Wesleyan University

The Issue:

“Smaller. Smarter.” That’s the motto of Texas Wesleyan University, which serves 3,200 students in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s also what the university IT team sought in a new backup and disaster recovery solution.

The challenge was that the prior backup tool, which copied to tape, was complex: It required considerable expertise and engineering time to set up and administer, and neither the backups nor the recoveries were consistent.

Texas Wesleyan wanted a new approach to backup that would be easy to administer, more consistent and reliable, and enhance off-site disaster recovery capabilities. The university also wanted to pay for the solution as a monthly operating expense rather than a capital expense.

The Solution:

Texas Wesleyan evaluated solutions from a number of providers and chose one from Mainline Information Systems, a partner it had worked with closely years earlier to virtualize its environment. “We were one of the first schools in Texas to go virtual,” recalls Kendra Ketchum, director of infrastructure at Texas Wesleyan. “We made that move based on our partnership with Mainline and the trust we have in them, and also on the empowerment model our CIO promotes. We have freedom to try new products and be innovative, something that can be difficult to find at the larger state universities.”

For Texas Wesleyan’s current challenge, Mainline recommended its Managed Backup/ Recovery Services. The services can use a wide range of solutions, and the best fit for the university’s requirements was an appliance from Actifio. One of the appliances is on the university’s premises, where it copies data from servers and storage, deduplicates and compresses the data, and replicates it to another appliance at a Mainline co-location center 40 miles away.

The Results:

Reducing disaster recovery from days to hours

There are many benefits. If a failover is needed, for instance, the Texas Wesleyan IT team can start up a virtualized server and restore a service directly on the remote appliance. This enables the IT team to reduce recovery time service level agreements (SLAs) for critical applications from three to five days down to four hours—an 18-fold faster recovery. The result is enhanced resilience for critical university applications such as Colleague ERP modules from Ellucian, Microsoft Exchange email, and a video platform that supports the Blackboard Learning Management System.

For more information, call your Mainline account representative or call Mainline directly at 866.490.MAIN(6246) or complete our contact us form.

The Issue

  • Enhance backup and recovery success rates
  • Minimize IT administration time
  • Reduce disaster recovery time SLAs
  • Avoid capital expenditures

The Solution

  • Mainline Managed Backup/Recovery Services
  • Actifio 100T Copy Data Storage Systems

The Results

  • Business continuity and disaster recovery
  • 18-fold faster recovery time SLAs enabled (3-5 days reduced to 4 hours)
  • Near-100% backup success, up from about 70% in prior environment
  • 100% recovery success, up from about 90%
  • Operational efficiency/cost savings
  • $2 million-$3 million remote disaster recovery site costs avoided
  • Deduplication/compression savings include
  • Up to $54,000 in annual connectivity costs avoided
  • 90% reduction in storage requirements
  • Five-figure annual tape operations costs eliminated
  • Day of potential downtime eliminated in critical server migration