Customer Story

Queensland Brain Institute protects life-changing research data with Druva

1,200+

Research papers published to date where data can be accessed 24×7

400

Endpoints automatically backed up protecting critical research data

About The Queensland Brain Institute

The Queensland Brain Institute is an Australian neuroscience research institute located in Brisbane at the St Lucia campus of The University of Queensland. One of eight institutes at the University of Queensland and established in 2003, research at The Institute is focused on two of the greatest challenges of modern science: understanding brain function and the prevention and treatment of disorders of brain function.

The Challenge

The Queensland Brain Institute’s researchers work to understand the development, organization and function of the brain. Collaboration with clinicians and commercial partners to develop new therapeutic approaches for brain diseases generates terabytes of data in the form of images and video files, much of which becomes paramount to research papers and grant funding.

Perry Kollmorgen, IT manager, said “The Queensland Brain Institute can be considered to be similar to a media creation organization, in terms of the volume of videos and images our 400 researchers and their collaborators are generating. These individuals work on their local machines and successful research is dependent on collaboration with peers and partners worldwide.”

For years researchers were responsible for protecting their own data, with backups maintained in two on-premises data centers using hierarchical storage management (HSM). “Reliance on the researchers to backup their own data meant we could never be 100% sure that all data was protected, so we decided to leverage the cloud for automated offsite data protection.”

The Solution

With most researchers having several hundred gigabytes of critical data on their machines and the need to facilitate global collaboration, an increasing issue The Institute needed to solve was data availability and backup reliability at the endpoint.

The team discovered Druva and quickly saw the benefits of cloud-based data protection for endpoints. “Having a fully automated data protection solution was a night-and-day improvement. Implementation of Druva inSync was straightforward, and we quickly saw trust established between the researchers and Druva. The platform gave them confidence that if anything happens to their device or data, it can be quickly restored,” said Perry.

With the success of endpoint backup came the demand for Druva inSync at three other institutes: The Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The Institute for Molecular Bioscience, and The Centre for Advanced Imaging. Additionally, said Perry, “We expanded our implementation to protect virtual machines, servers, and databases as well with Druva Phoenix. Backing up our data to the Druva Cloud Platform enables us to keep the data offsite with high availability without the end user needing to think about it.”

With Druva, The Institute can easily scale on demand without procuring and managing additional hardware and deliver data protection to staff and researchers without dedicated IT resources. “I was able to easily show our security team how the Druva Cloud Platform protects our endpoint and server data and The Institute’s reputation. That was a big thing,” added Perry.

Results

For data restoration the Druva Cloud Platform is vastly faster than The Institute’s previous system. Before, replacing a device required HSM restores, which involved manually identifying the data to migrate to a new device and moving it between a couple of staging areas before transferring it to a new computer.

“With Druva we can do a complete device restore in just a few hours, which means much less impact to our researchers’ work. We have also enabled end users to do their own restores, which we couldn’t do before,” Perry said.

Additionally, the speed of restores and time savings extend to Perry’s team, as they can move people to new computers and close more IT support tickets faster. “Druva quickly became our go to for migrating Windows computers. The user and profile migration tools are fantastic and The Queensland Brain Institute has become the envy of many other parts of the university who still do a fairly manual restore process,” he said.

An important part of research done at The Institute is enabling worldwide collaboration with other institutes and facilitating access to data when their own folks are traveling. “Druva’s cloud-based solution gives our researchers the data availability and reliability our teams demand 24x7x365 wherever they are in the world,” said Perry.

Challenges

  • Dependence on end users to backup their own devices, each containing several hundred gigabytes with critical research data
  • Limited collaboration with peers and partners across the globe if data wasn’t available
  • Inability to quickly find any data called into question could negatively impact The Institute’s reputation, grant funding
  • Legacy HSM infrastructure exposed The Institute to a time-to-recovery deficit and usability issues

Solution

  • A SaaS data protection platform built on AWS that protects all end-user data across endpoints, as well as data center workloads managed through a single pane of glass
  • Immediate access to all backups and fast search to restore for both compliance and recovery purposes
  • Radically simple SaaS data protection that does not require any additional hardware or software
  • Higher level of security with end-to-end encryption fully supported by The Institute’s security governance group

Results

  • 400 endpoints are fully protected 24x7x365
  • Validity of 1200+ research papers and The Institute’s reputation is safeguarded
  • Vastly faster to replace a lost, damaged or stolen device
  • Dramatic improvements to IT and researcher workforce productivity

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