Customer Story

The University of Manchester protects VMware Cloud on AWS and reduces costs by 50%


Cost reduction by eliminating legacy backup expenditures


Virtual machines (VMs) protected by Druva


Global deduplication storage savings

About The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester holds a special place in history. Its origins as England’s first civic university are closely linked to Manchester’s development as the world’s first industrial city. Its pioneering, interdisciplinary, and collaborative research, which is done by almost 7,000 academic staff and researchers, is tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges.

The Challenge

The University of Manchester is investing £1 billion over 10 years to bring greater levels of service to students, teachers, and researchers. Key to its strategy was the adoption of VMware Cloud™ on AWS to expand its existing on-premises VMware infrastructure into the public cloud, which was growing by ~200 VMs per year.

Though it had been using a legacy backup solution to protect its on-premises VM workloads, it realized protecting a modern cloud infrastructure with a legacy on-premises solution was not the right approach. Stuart Catterall, enterprise infrastructure architect, said, “For The University to extend its existing backup solution to the cloud would have been a large scale, expensive effort.”

Using a legacy on-premises data protection solution to store backups from the cloud would have required a large network overhead to transport backups and snapshots, and the storage costs would have been prohibitive.

The Solution

VMware introduced The University to Advanced AWS Partner Network (APN) Technology partner Druva, and while it evaluated other backup solutions, the Druva proof of concept (POC) was set up within a month and immediately showed benefits that made it the obvious choice. One of the key differentiators is that Druva is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is the first VMware Cloud on AWS certified SaaS data protection solution available in the VMware Cloud Marketplace, with a secure, scalable solution, and single pane of glass across multiple AWS regions.

With Druva Phoenix, Catterall and team can efficiently manage cloud backups and restores of 160+ VMs centrally from any location 24×7. Druva’s simple, unified user experience, fast set up, and easy to use capabilities made data protection simple for The University’s team, which made the benefits stand out.

Catterall added, “Druva Phoenix facilitated our migration to VMware Cloud on AWS, and it allows us to use more AWS services so that our IT department can expand the services it delivers to our customers. Druva also does all the hard work on the backend, like migrating our data to different tiers of storage, which we don’t have to worry about. We simply copy our data to Druva and know it’s protected.”


The University now has a data protection solution that aligns with its AWS cloud strategy as there’s no on-premises footprint. As such, The University has reduced its data protection costs by 50% compared to legacy solutions, which would have required separate software, hardware, maintenance, and administration costs, and costs for moving data to and recovering it from VMware Cloud on AWS. Catterall and team don’t have to pay for any of that, and also enjoy the fact that with Druva, “We only pay for what we use,” he added.

With Druva’s built-in global deduplication, The University is protecting 25 terabytes (TBs) of data, which is deduplicated down to 10 TB of stored backup data. “If we had used our legacy data protection solutions, 25 TB of backup data would actually have required storage for 42 TB,” said Catterall.

The deployment of Druva Phoenix for VMware Cloud on AWS was straightforward and in about 15 minutes Catterall’s team was up and running. Today, IT administrators can spin up VMs on the cloud to accelerate research programs and meet new requirements among university faculties. And, Druva enables them to do so without needing a specialized skill set or the expense of formal training according to Catterall.


  • Adoption of cloud strategy meant a migration of on-premises VMs to VMware Cloud on AWS, but legacy on-premises solutions were cost prohibitive
  • Using a legacy on-premises data protection solution to store backups from the cloud would have required a large network overhead


  • Druva Phoenix is built on AWS and is the first VMware Cloud on AWS certified SaaS data protection solution that is simple, secure, and scalable across 14+AWS regions
  • Centralized management of backups and restores of 160+ VMs in VMware Cloud on AWS via a single control plane


  • 50% storage cost reductions compared to its legacy on-premises data protection solution
  • 2X global deduplication storage savings, as 25 TBs of data only consume 10 TB of storage
  • 160+ VMs protected with Druva Phoenix
  • Ability to use more AWS services so its IT department can expand the services it delivers to its customers