Barracuda Helps Ampleforth College Bring its Technology into the 21st Century

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Summary

Ampleforth is a picturesque village on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. Since 1802, it’s been home to Ampleforth College, a coeducational, independent day and boarding school. The college is run by the Benedictine monks and lay staff of Ampleforth Abbey, and has an affiliated preparatory school, St.Martin’s Ampleforth, located across the valley at Gilling Castle.

Profile

  • Ampleforth College
  • Independent day and boarding college and prep school
  • Outdated IT infrastructure
  • Multiple physical and virtual servers

Challenges

  • Unreliable backup using tapes
  • Wasted time troubleshooting failed backups
  • Problems with data retention
  • Message archiving

Solution

  • Barracuda Backup 690 with unlimited Cloud option
  • Barracuda Message Archiver 450

Results

  • 100% reliable backup & message archiving
  • Estimated annual cost savings of $25,309.17 (£17,000)
  • Freed up resources - 20-30 hrs per week
  • Quick deployment
  • Free hardware update after four years

Desperate Need of Modernization

When Richard Baynes joined Ampleforth as IT Services Manager in 2013, he discovered that the IT infrastructure had suffered from a long period of neglect and was in desperate need of modernization. Richard comments: “For the first 12 months, I focused all my efforts on stabilizing the network. Physical servers, hardware and software were out of support, and we didn’t have modern firewalls and web filtering in place.

"I believe that since we’ve started using Barracuda’s technology, we are saving around £1,000 per month on the technician’s time on top of £5,000 per annum on replacing tape library and servers."
- Richard Bayes, IT Services Manager, Ampleforth College

"One of the weakest points I identified early on was our primitive on-site disaster recovery, using Symantec Backup Exec tape drives. Each week, we were spending 20 - 30 hours trouble-shooting failed tape backups. As I only have a team of four to deliver all IT, telecom and audio-visual support for the college, prep-school, campus and monastery, I needed to have confidence that we could recover any data quickly and stop wasting resources."

Searching for a Reliable Backup Solution

Richard started to look for a solution that would deliver better data retention, management and archiving facilities. Working with Altinet, a specialist IT security and storage reseller, they narrowed the search to three options.

After evaluating the features and cost of upgrading existing Symantec Backup, they discarded this option. Veeam’s virtualized environment solutions wasn’t deemed suitable either since Ampleforth needed to have flexibility to retain physical servers.

Barracuda Ticks All the Boxes

Richard explains why he chose Barracuda’s solution: “Barracuda’s Backup 690 with unlimited cloud storage ticked all the boxes. The fact that the data is stored in the UK gave me great peace of mind. I was looking for a straightforward product that would require minimal technician support and that would ‘just work’. And that’s what I got! In December 2014, we had the box on a 30-day trial, and we found it very easy and intuitive to use. It provided fast, real-time disaster recovery, unlike the tape drives we used previously. Retrieving data took minutes, rather than hours.

"After initial testing, we moved into production very quickly. We needed to iron out some retention policies issues, but once we received on-site training from Barracuda’s engineer, it was resolved very quickly."

Introducing Barracuda Message Archiver

After resolving the backup issues, Richard started to look at ways to improve their email storage and archiving management to further drive down the cost of data storage. Since April 2015, Ampleforth has also been using Barracuda Message Archiver 450. “Initially, I was a bit apprehensive as this was a completely new product which my team hadn’t supported before. As it turned out, I needn’t worry. The cloud control menus look the same and are manageable in one place. The training, which took place in our offices, was excellent, and my technicians were able to support the product immediately.”

Driving Down Operational Cost

"Reducing operational expenditure is important for us. I believe that since we’ve started using Barracuda’s technology, we are saving around £1,000 per month on the technician’s time on top of £5,000 per annum on replacing tape library and servers. We also scrapped any Office 365 mailbox archiving cost,” says Richard.

“I’m confident that Barracuda’s technology is reliable, and it’s reassuring to know that should anything go wrong, we will get a replacement unit delivered and installed next day. The free-of-charge hardware update every four years is a plus, too.

“Overall, I’ve been very impressed by the excellent on-site training and help during the installation we received from Barracuda. Altinet’s support and responsiveness throughout this process was much appreciated, too. Moving forward, we’re currently evaluating Barracuda’s Web Filters,” concludes Richard.

About Barracuda

Protecting users, applications, and data for more than 150,000 organisations 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 customer-centric business model focuses on delivering highvalue, subscription-based IT solutions for security and storage. For additional information, please visit barracuda.com or follow us on Twitter@barracudaEMEA.

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.

Barracuda Backup Fast Facts

  • Secures physical and virtual environments (VMware & Hyper-V)
  • LiveBoot for VMware
  • Deduplicated storage and fast replication
  • Microsoft SQL, Exchange, Restore at the News Level
  • VMware Snapshot and File Recovery
  • Cloud Storage and/or Siteto-Site-Replication