Angelo State University is a public, doctoral-level degree granting university located in San Angelo, Texas. A dynamic learning community located in the heart of West Texas, it has been ranked by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s “best colleges” every year since 2010. It offers more than 100 majors and concentrations through six colleges: Health & Human Services, College of Arts and Humanities, College of Business, College of Education, College of Graduate Studies and Research, and College of Sciences and Engineering.
The IT department has 70 full-time staff and more than 50 part-time student workers to provide IT support services to the university of over 850 employees and about 10,500 students.
The challenge at ASU, as with any university, is to protect a wide variety of valuable data that might include proprietary research, long-term records, administrative files and course materials accessed by a diverse group of students, faculty and staff, and to do so with an IT staff with a wide range of expertise, from beginners to experienced workers.
Jake Bruner, from the Technology Services team, provides field services and desktop support functions. Over a year ago, the ASU IT department was looking for a solution to provide consistent and dependable data backup and recovery, as the university has a four-year device refresh cycle. During the refresh process, the university would back up each device to a network drive, which would then be backed up to tape, a process that took 5 to 6 hours per device. ASU implemented Druva inSync to simplify backup and recovery during the refresh process, drastically reducing initial backup time to 90 minutes per machine. This dramatic reduction in time required has freed up IT staff, enabling them to be more efficient, and to focus on other assignments.
Druva inSync was initially implemented as part of the refresh process, but ASU quickly realized the value of an on-demand recovery system. After a university executive experienced a hard drive failure on his laptop, the IT team was able to use inSync to recover all the data within minutes. All of the original data from the cloud was restored onto a “loaner” laptop, and as a result, the executive experienced zero impact to his productivity and effectiveness. “From the end-user’s perspective, it was like magic,” Jake said. “He thought he was (going to lose) his data completely, and would have to start over from scratch.”
“He was thrilled,” Jake said, noting that it is possible to get data off a dead computer like that, but the cost, which can be upwards of $2,000, is prohibitive and not considered high value, especially to an institution that is always watching its budget. Druva inSync comes to the rescue in just such a situation.
ASU can now deploy its IT teams to solve other challenges with Druva inSync on the job. Once the university deployed Druva for reliable backup and continuous data protection, IT workers recovered 75 percent of their time previously spent on backups.
This year, the school hit a milestone enrollment—10,000—and with growth comes complexity. This infusion of new students and staff rely on various cloud applications and different devices, so it is even more paramount to protect research data, administrative files and classroom materials with a cloud solution like inSync.
After having such a positive experience with inSync, Jake said he is now open to moving other services to the cloud. “Our success with Druva has just been incredible. Even when there are network issues, it works flawlessly and quickly.”