Academy of Contemporary Music Hits the High Notes with Data Backup Support from Barracuda Networks

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The prestigious Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM), located in Surrey, England has been a world leader in music education since 1995. Students are provided a broad range of instrumental and vocal courses, as well as courses in music production, creative sound design, tour production, management and music business. ACM now has schools in South Africa, Europe, and the U.S. With more than 1,200 full time students in the UK alone, ACM produces large volumes of music and video files, all of which need to be stored.


  • The Academy of Contemporary Music
  • Locations in the UK, South Africa, Europe and the U.S.
  • 1,600 students at ACM UK


  • Insufficient tape backups
  • Growing storage needs
  • No proactive plan for disaster recovery


  • Barracuda Backup 490


  • Over 45% storage reduction
  • Saved time, resources and bandwidth
  • Passed disaster recovery tests with great results
  • Excellent technical support

A Better Way to Backup Data

ACM’s former backup solution was to store all data on tape drives, which were attached to individual servers. This process presented challenges to ACM as it did not have adequate staff resources or IT capabilities available to support the volumes of data being produced within the school.

“The music industry has changed so much since we first opened,” explains Simon Mallindine, IT Manager at ACM. “The volumes of data being produced daily were incredible and as we grew, so did the data volume. We simply didn’t have the infrastructure in place to cope.”

With so much critical data at stake, ACM selected Barracuda Backup to house and store its media, audio and video content, as well as provide disaster recovery functionality for all critical data. “We compared the cost of using tape versus purchasing Barracuda Backup and found that over a three-year period, Barracuda Backup is one-third the price of backing up data to tape,” Mallindine says.

With so many students attending the UK school, access to data on a 24/7 basis is critical, so, with this in mind, information is regularly updated and added to the servers.

Minimal Impact on Students

In the event of a system failure or loss of data, ACM needed total reassurance that not only could information be retrieved, it could be done so in a timely manner, with minimal impact to the students. “Within ACM, we create massive amounts of data on a daily basis,” says Mallindine. “The type of data we produce is the students thoughts and inspirations; this is not always easy to recreate if lost. Therefore we need total confidence, not only in our IT infrastructure, but also the technical support we receive. Now through Barracuda Networks, we have this."

“The technical support we continue to receive has hugely exceeded our expectations,” continues Mallindine.” When technical issues arise, we have been able to speak to a Barracuda Networks engineer directly who has been able to dial into our system, with minimal impact to our IT infrastructure and fix any problems within a 72-hour period, and all that’s needed is one phone call. Support like this is truly amazing and gives us such confidence from an IT perspective.”

Barracuda Backup: Tried and Tested

In addition, ACM has conducted disaster recovery tests, whereby all critical data was wiped from the database and restored, all within a nine-hour period. For Mallindine, this was critical to the success of the project.

"We compared the cost of using tape versus purchasing the Barracuda Backup and found that over a three-year period the Barracuda Backup is one-third the price of backing up data to tape."
- Simon Mallindine, IT Manager, ACM

“If we lose data at 6 p.m. we can have all our critical data back and be fully operational, even with the images for our servers, before the doors open for teaching the following morning,” said Mallindine. “We can’t emphasize how impressed we’ve been and we plan to roll out Barracuda Networks technology in each of our franchises over the next few years and we’ll manage this centrally. We won’t need to get on a plane or have local IT support in place, we can essentially use Barracuda Networks’ local IT engineer to deliver an excellent product to our franchises, as well as excellent service and support, that’s the sort of company we like to work with.”

With the Barracuda Backup Service, ACM can safely maintain backed up data using efficient replication techniques designed to conserve bandwidth and minimize the cost of disaster recovery.

About Barracuda

Protecting users, applications, and data for more than 150,000 organizations worldwide, Barracuda Networks has developed a global reputation as the go-to leader for powerful, easy-to-use, affordable IT solutions. The company’s proven customercentric business model focuses on delivering high-value, subscriptionbased IT solutions for security and storage. For additional information, please visit or follow us on Twitter@barracuda.

About Barracuda Backup

Barracuda delivers easy cloud-connected Backup. Barracuda Backup is the unified, cost-efficient data protection solution for your physical and virtual environments. Backup software, local storage, and remote storage are integrated into a solution that can be rapidly deployed in under an hour. Cloud-based central management enables seamless multisite administration, and rapid local or remote recovery prevents data loss, and also minimizes downtime. Barracuda Backup is a complete backup solution with remote storage that is easy to buy, install, and manage, all backed by our live 24/7 customer support experts.