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Back-up solution

Warlingham School is a designated specialist school in ‘Business & Enterprise’ and converted to Academy status in 2012. Its business centre is kitted out with ICT facilities and office style furniture. With 700 computers, 150 staff laptops and around 90 BYOD (bring your own device) devices connecting to the school’s network on a daily basis, protecting the school’s data through the integrity and reliability of its back-up is paramount.

Describing the school’s previous back-up solution Lee Palmer, network manager at Warlingham School said: “We used to back-up on tape, but it was taking far too long. It took around three days for data to be transferred onto tape, which meant we were constantly missing backup schedules. At one point the back-up was so behind that we had a six-month period when no back-ups were completed at all. Additionally, the ever-increasing amount of data that the school was generating was becoming difficult to store on our tapes.”

On his old data recovery process, Palmer said: “During the six-month period when our back-up was not working we had a few documents go ‘walkies’, but luckily nothing of huge importance. We tend to get around five or six requests from students and staff a week to recover lost or accidently deleted documents. With our previous back-up it was a lengthy process, with only a 50 percent chance we would be able to recover the missing file.”

Palmer added: “Our previous solution, ran into some problems and we were told the only way to fix it was to upgrade to the latest version of the software, which essentially meant re-purchasing the software at a cost of around £1000.”

Not satisfied that purchasing the new software was best, Palmer considered what his key requirements were: fast back-up; IT that was easy to use, that allowed fast retrieval and re-instatement of data and had no extra per license fees. Also on his wish list was to move on from backing-up on tape. The tapes were becoming increasingly unreliable and inefficient and Palmer was spending eight and half days a year simply inserting and removing the tapes and storing. Having drawn up his wish list, Palmer considered three options for the school:

1. To spend money updating the school’s current system to have bigger size capacity tapes, a bigger auto-loader and a bigger hard drive unit

2. To purchase a Barracuda Networks back-up solution

3. To purchase a another vendor’s back-up solution.

Barracuda’s back-up products came onto Palmer’s radar when he was on the Barracuda website looking at firewalls and noticed the back-up solutions. Having rolled out Barracuda’s Web Filter 610 three years earlier, Palmer was keen to run a 30-day free trial of the Barracuda Back-up 690 and 890 models and its Cloud storage back-up service. When a three-month trial came to an end, Anthony Westacott, channel manager, UK from Barracuda introduced Palmer to local reseller, Synetix to manage the roll-out of the back-up products.

Palmer said: “The updates were very competitively priced and we had a three year maintenance plan included. The fact that you don’t need to have individual client access licenses for different types of servers and that you can have an unlimited amount is great. The benefit of linking up to the Barracuda Cloud control was an unexpected bonus too because it allows me to make changes when I’m off-site.”

And of the roll-out process, Palmer said: “The roll-out was a breeze. The interface is very similar across all Barracuda products and is really user friendly and easy to configure. With a little bit of help from the Synetix support team, we had it up and running within a couple of hours and the first back-up was completed within eight or nine hours.”

As for Barracuda’s automatic system updates he said: “The Barracuda back-up keeps itself up-to-date when it’s idol. It automatically downloads and installs updates with no need for human intervention. Previously, I had to manually check for updates every month and each update would take me around two hours to run and would be followed by a lengthy re-boot.

“The Barracuda back-up has exceeded all of my expectations and has saved the school over £6,000 in the process. For me, the three best things about it are its speed, cost effectiveness and its low impact – it’s easy-to-use and configure and there was no complicated set-up process. In addition to the Barracuda back-up and the Barracuda Web Filter we installed three years ago, I have also recently rolled out Barracuda’s Spam and Virus Firewall and will be installing one of Barracuda’s firewalls during within the next couple of weeks. Barracuda’s solutions and the great service from Synetix have impressed me across the board and I certainly would not hesitate to recommend them.”


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