Customer Stories

Ellington Public Schools leverages the cloud to facilitate efficient distance learning

When the global pandemic struck in late winter 2020, Ellington Public Schools had to rapidly transition to facilitate distance learning for its 2,700 students, and hundreds of teachers and staff. The school district, based in Ellington, Connecticut, created and executed a plan to sanitize and distribute its inventory of Google Chromebooks to students in need, while enabling students to log into its network with personal laptops and desktops.

Ellington’s lean IT team has always been focused on efficiencies, and it was able to roll out the program and enable other tools, such as Google Classroom, across the district. Because its IT team had previously selected cost-efficient Druva to protect business-critical workloads running on virtual machines (VMs), the small team had the time and resources it needed to drive the remote learning transition.

Barracuda fails to facilitate the district’s cloud-first strategy

The school district is funded by taxpayers, meaning budgets are always tight. That’s why the IT team is constantly looking for the best, most cost-efficient solutions. The team had previously been utilizing a Barracuda system for its VMs, storing data both on-premises and in the cloud. However, due to increasing costs and time to manage the system, IT ended up disappointed and looking to replace Barracuda. 

Brett Schwartz, Network Engineer at Ellington Public Schools said,“We had issues with backups almost daily. Barracuda was clunky and unreliable. I spent a quarter of my time just troubleshooting backups.” Plus, it was increasingly expensive. “Costs kept going up with Barracuda, which stretched our fixed budget,” Brett said. “And we were trying to get away from on-premises infrastructure anyway.”

So Brett and team searched for a provider that could deliver secure, cloud-first VM data protection at a fixed, transparent price. They found Druva and were immediately impressed with its capabilities and restore options for virtual machines — full, file-level, and individual virtual disk.

The team even conducted a disaster recovery (DR) scenario in a production VM environment to put Druva to the test. “Everything just worked,” Brett said. “We achieved a full VM disaster recovery in about three hours with little downtime.”

“I’ve never felt so confident in a product, ever,” Brett said. “Especially for a solution in the cloud. It’s just amazing.”

Druva facilitates an 81 percent reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO)

The school district has achieved a whopping 81 percent reduction in TCO with Druva compared to Barracuda, and Brett’s team attributes this drastic improvement to Druva’s transparent costs and no need for on-premises physical infrastructure.

Additionally, Brett had been spending a quarter of his time just troubleshooting Barracuda backups; now, with Druva, he’s recovered most of that, as the team now spends 75 percent less time managing backups. “Druva is a win-win for the district and for our team,” Brett said. “We’re using our budget wisely, and now we can spend time on strategic projects instead of troubleshooting backups.”

What’s next?

Read the Ellington Public Schools case study to learn more, and watch the video below for an interview with the school district about how Druva is a core component of its district-wide DR documentation plans, and delivers the ransomware and data loss protection it needs to succeed in the remote learning era and beyond.