Large Regional College Speeds Deployments, Disaster Recoveries
With nine out of 10 graduates hired within six months of graduation, Toronto’s George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. From its two main campuses located across the downtown core, George Brown offers nearly 160 programs across a wide variety of professions to a student body of 60,000 (including those enrolled in full-time, part-time and continuing education programs). Students can earn diplomas, post-graduate certificates, industry accreditations, apprenticeships and four-year bachelor degrees.
The college’s Data Centre Operations team is responsible for administrative, student and production applications running on dozens of servers within the IT operation of this very large enterprise. However, the college lacked two things that affected its commitment to make data readily available to users: the ability to rapidly recover failed servers and an easier-to-use, faster way to deploy a rapidly-growing Windows server population.
100% Uptime Required
George Brown College had been using Symantec® Ghost® for deployment of whole servers, applications, and more, but that product required administrators to take machines offline to image their disks. The college also needed to be able to produce an image across a network share to avoid having to physically go to each machine for a deployment or recovery.
The requirement to take a server offline also had a negative impact on deployments. “With Symantec Ghost, each server deployment could take a couple of hours,” says Wayne Kyryluk the college Administrator, Data Centre Operations, within the Information Technology Services group. After an evaluation of various products that would provide greater ease of use and reduced administrator involvement, the college chose Acronis data protection software.
Answers five primary needs. Once the college made its decision, it moved quickly to explore the new product’s capabilities. Over time it has found that Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 software answers five primary needs. The first is bare metal restores: host O/S images are now installed in minutes from a SAN rather than the hours once required for manual builds. The IT group also uses Acronis disk imaging technology to deploy new servers.
Acronis Universal Restore shortens maintenance windows for drive replacements or host hardware upgrades. Development and testing activities can be completed quickly using Acronis to restore a server without delay to any previous point in time. The college also uses Acronis Universal Restore as a cloning tool for production, development and test systems.