University of San Francisco saves time and money while protecting data from disaster
“In the current economic environment... of reduced budgets and uncertain revenues, the high startup and continuing operational costs involved in building your own backup/recovery solution can be avoided by using MozyPro.”
MozyPro helps the University of San Francisco protect valuable information while costing nearly 60 percent less than building an internal backup solution. With their laptops, desktops, and servers safely, easily, and automatically backed up, the information technology staff is free to spend more of its time on critical initiatives.
As information security officer at the University of San Francisco, Walter Petruska knows that data is the most valuable asset in any enterprise. Thousands of personal computers and servers at the university store several terabytes of everything from departmental memos to freshman term papers to years of research. If the data were lost, it might not be a question of how long it would take to reproduce, but whether it could ever be reproduced at all.
“An end-user’s desktop or laptop computer is easy enough to replace, but how do you recover the truly valuable data?” Petruska asked. Today, everything is technology driven, and college campuses are no different. Increasingly, students submit their homework, presentations, projects, and essays electronically. Petruska sees it as the school’s responsibility to safeguard its data.
“Can you imagine being a professor two days before finals and losing your laptop or having it stolen?” Petruska said. “What are you going to tell your students—resubmit all of your papers because I don’t have them anymore?”
Like many educational institutions with a tradition of openness and collaboration, the University of San Francisco didn’t have a formal policy mandating desktop or laptop file backup, nor did it provide guidance for faculty and staff on which backup products to use. Backups were done using several different products with different configurations. The central IT operations and support staff had little-to-no visibility of what was being backed up, let alone to where, how frequently, or whether or not efforts to restore files were successful.
Petruska had several challenges regarding the safety and recovery of data.
“Prudence dictates that we plan for several contingencies with regard to safeguarding our institutional data. This ranges from university-wide disaster planning down to fast and convenient recovery of individual files by an end-user,” he said. “One of the most important things to consider is how to keep a safe copy of all our data far enough away so that any incident which may affect our users’ data here won’t also threaten the backed up files. Having our data far away geographically but quickly recoverable satisfies all of our needs.”
Petruska had two paramount considerations for choosing the right backup solution. First, he needed the ability to perform efficient encrypted off-site backups of users’ data. Second, he needed a solution that would provide a single service that could back up all the diverse file types and operating systems running on campus.
He was especially concerned about the latter as about one-third of USF’s computers are Macs, and many faculty members use a combination of Macs and PCs. MozyPro allows the university to set policies, schedule backups, generate reports, and recover lost files with just one intuitive management interface.
“After working with MozyPro in the field during evaluation, learning how it works, seeing its strong cross-platform support, and interacting with their support organization, MozyPro won the evaluation against some strong competitors,” Petruska said. “Add to that the attractive pay-as-you go Software as a Service (SaaS) model and Mozy’s demonstrated speed in product innovation, and the choice became clear.”
Partnering with MozyPro has helped the University of San Francisco substantially reduce the total cost of ownership of a data backup solution. Without MozyPro, USF would have spent in excess of $60,000 on hardware and software alone; not to mention the labor, staffing, and training costs. Even after purchasing and implementing a home-grown solution, USF would be paying the recurring costs of software licensing, support, and utilities. On the other hand, Mozy’s attractive volume discounts offer lower per-unit costs as the quantity of users and storage requirements increase. MozyPro even allows USF to return unused resources and not be billed in future periods.
Given the alternative, MozyPro saves the university nearly 60 percent of its annual file backup costs. Petruska and his team are also able to perform their file recovery tasks five times faster than before implementing MozyPro. The extra hours allow the team to focus more on the needs of the end users and less on technical demands.
MozyPro has helped Petruska reduce cost and achieve efficiencies in processes especially in the current down economy.“In the current economic environment, most universities have lost some level of principle in their capital investments; others are having their operating budgets cut, and still others are facing enrollment declines,” Petruska said. “Against this backdrop of reduced budgets and uncertain revenues, the high startup and continuing operational costs involved in building your own backup/ recovery solution can be avoided by using MozyPro.”
With MozyPro, the university’s data is stored in world-class data centers hundreds or thousands of miles away. Lost data can be quickly restored by the end user browsing MozyPro’s intuitive Web interface via any computer with an Internet connection. File recovery is even easier from within the original system—just a right-mouse click away from any folder or file icon. With MozyPro, the university’s IT department doesn’t need to be involved in every restore. Ninety percent of restores are done by the file owner on their own system and the other 10 percent are done as part of a system replacement or recovery from a failed hard drive.
Petruska can see some very innovative uses of MozyPro backup and restores.
“If a professor leaves their laptop at home, they can use any computer with Internet access to download the day’s lecture without missing a beat,” he suggested.
The level of positive feedback from the university community is outstanding. The most appreciative feedback has come from people who have lost a hard drive due to hardware failure, loss, or theft.
“When we call clients just a few hours after they told us their data was completely lost and tell them we’ve replaced their computer and put all the data back exactly as it was, they release a huge sigh of relief and can’t thank us enough for helping to save them from their loss. Honestly, people can’t thank us enough,” Petruska said.
About The University of San Francisco
Established in 1855, USF is the city’s oldest university and is consistently ranked as one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the country. The University of San Francisco is committed to being a premier Jesuit Catholic, urban university with a global perspective that educates leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world. With nearly 8,500 enrolled, the university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as persons and professionals, and the values and sensitivity necessary to be men and women for others. For more information, visit http://www.usfca.edu.