Customer Story

Ellington Public Schools chooses Druva for cloud-native data protection of virtual machines

81%

Reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to Barracuda

75%

Less time spent managing backups with Druva

3

Hours to recover a full VM with Druva

About customer

Ellington Public Schools is a school district based in Ellington, Connecticut. It grows exceptional learners and leaders who are courageous, reflective, and contributing citizens of the world. Ellington Public Schools creates a culture of learning that challenges and inspires all students on their personalized educational journeys.

The challenge

Ellington Public Schools is made up of 500 employees and 2,700 students. Since the school district is funded by taxpayers, budgets are always tight. That’s why the IT team constantly looks for the best, most cost-efficient solutions.

With the district adopting a cloud-first strategy, the IT team moved its backups of virtual machines (VMs) to Barracuda — storing data first on-premises and then in the cloud. “But it was quickly evident that Barracuda wouldn’t work,” said Brett Schwartz, Network Engineer at Ellington Public Schools.“We had issues with backups almost daily,” he said. “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 his team searched for a provider that could deliver secure, cloud-first VM data protection at a fixed, transparent price.

The solution

The team considered legacy backup vendor solutions, but found them cost prohibitive. “We didn’t want to spin up a server to send data to the cloud and then back on-premises,” he added.

Then Ellington’s reseller suggested Druva. After a demonstration, the team knew instantly it wanted to switch to Druva, even without a proof of concept. Druva’s capability, dedicated customer service, and transparent pricing made it the obvious choice. “We chose Druva because it was cloud-native and had exactly what we needed,” Brett said. “When we compared it to other providers, it was like apples and oranges.”

Despite knowing Druva was the right choice, the team was initially concerned about how long the process would take to back up and deduplicate the data in the cloud. But they were reassured when it took just five hours. “We thought it would take forever, but then we saw how the data was de-deduped, then zipped up and sent to the cloud,” Brett said. “It was actually a really slick process, and went so much faster than I thought possible for our volume of data.”

Following its implementation, the company is achieving 2.43x global deduplication storage savings with Druva. “I’ve never felt so confident in a product, ever,” Brett said. “Especially for a solution in the cloud. It’s just amazing.” Brett and team also appreciate Druva’s customer support, particularly during the migration. “Druva’s team held our hands throughout the process and made us feel comfortable at every step,” Brett said. “Any nerves we had quickly disappeared.”

Results

Now, Brett and the team have the confidence and the cloud-first protection they need for VM data. 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.” The team was also impressed with the restore options for VMs— full, file-level, and individual virtual disk. That’s why Druva is now part of Ellington Public Schools’ district-wide DR documentation plans.

Brett said he can’t believe how rarely he needs to look at the console. He receives automatic email reports that tell him if backups fail, or if there are errors. “I don’t have to worry about Druva,” Brett said. “I know it works, and I’ve got my procedures in place so if we’re hit with ransomware or some other disaster, I know exactly what I need to do to recover.”

Brett achieved an 81 percent reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to Barracuda. Plus, 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.”

Brett frequently recommends Druva to his peers. “That’s how excited I am about Druva,” he said. “I’ve never felt this excited about a product before. I rave about it all the time and I haven’t stopped raving about it for the past year.”

“It’s just crazy good.”

Challenges

  • Consistent performance issues with Barracuda for VM backups put data at risk
  • Increasing costs from Barracuda strained the district’s fixed, publically-funded IT budget
  • No robust DR strategy left the company vulnerable to data loss and ransomware
  • The district’s cloud strategy required them to get rid of on-premises architecture

Solution

  • A single pane of glass through which IT can manage backups and restores of VMs
  • Ability to do multiple restore options for VMs — full, file-level, and individual virtual disk
  • Transparent costs and no requirement for on-premises physical infrastructure
  • 2.43x global deduplication storage savings with Druva

Results

  • 81% reduction in TCO compared to Barracuda
  • 75% less time spent managing backups
  • 3 hours to fully recover a VM with Druva
  • Globally-available DR solution with one-click automated recovery for on-premises and cloud-based workloads