The University of Auckland Unifies DR, Backup, and Storage While Cutting Costs with Datrium

“Datrium checked all our boxes. Their converged approach and on-demand disaster recovery to VMware Cloud on AWS simplifies DR and also brings our team major cost savings.

–Sanit Kumar, Infrastructure Services Portfolio Manager (ISPM)

 

Public University

https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en.html

Challenge

The University of Auckland needed to cut the cost and complexity of its Private Cloud IaaS platform while driving towards IT consolidation and cloud-based DR.

Instant RTO for Any VMware Workload

  • Agility and savings through unified services and cloud-based infrastructure
  • Shifted from siloed infrastructure management to cross-functional teams which freed up the IT team so they could focus on strategic objectives
  • Instant RTO with on-demand DR
  • Protection against ransomware and other threats
  • No VM conversions for cloud-based DR – with easy failover and failback
  • Better service to all end users
  • Flexibility to support future needs
  • Improved performance, especially for research workloads

The Challenge

Modernize IT Infrastructure While Reducing Cost

As New Zealand’s leading university, the University of Auckland must constantly balance its visionary charter and economic realities. The same applies to the University’s IT organization. The IT team is committed to delivering superior services to the University’s 40,000 students, and over 5,000 staff, including faculty, administrators, and research partners – but must also strive to save money in the face of ever-tightening budget constraints.

In support of the university’s digital transformation strategy, the IT organization’s Infrastructure Services (IS) team was looking to modernize its infrastructure and key processes, such as data backups and disaster recovery (DR). The IT team manages two large-scale data centers in Auckland, and legacy infrastructure and point tools were making storage, backups, and DR excessively complex and expensive.

“We wanted to empower our IT team to work more efficiently,” said Sanit Kumar, Infrastructure Services Portfolio Manager (ISPM) at The University of Auckland. “We were looking for a simplified solution that combines compute, storage, backup, and disaster recovery, and that aligns with VMware, so we no longer require separate storage with VMware and backup teams.

Results

Unified, Future-Ready DR, Backup, and Storage

The University of Auckland chose Datrium for its cost-effective, easy-to-manage, VMware-centric solutions. Specifically, the IT team selected both Datrium DVX, a disaggregated HCI (DHCI) solution that includes backup and DR protection, along with Datrium DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) with VMware Cloud on AWS, which provides on-demand, failproof DR with instant RTO for all VMware workloads. The University team was introduced to Datrium by its Premier Partner, ASI Solutions.

In a two-phased implementation, the IT team first implemented DVX for integrated compute, storage, encryption, and backup across both data centers. In the second phase, the team will deploy DRaaS with VMware Cloud on AWS, which will add a new dimension of data protection via fast, easy failover and failback capabilities, along with additional cost efficiencies.
With DRaaS, organizations no longer need expensive physical DR sites or hot DR resources in the cloud, and they only pay for DR resources when they actually use them. Without the need to purchase and maintain physical infrastructure for backup and recovery, The University of Auckland will also save money by eliminating licenses and hardware. That also provides The University of Auckland with the ability to consolidate down to a single data center in the future, using Public Cloud for Backup & DR (All managed via Datrium).

Innovative, Effective Way to Protect Against Ransomware

“We are very excited about the added value DRaaS brings to our environment,” said Mr. Kumar. “It makes DR easy to execute and easy to manage, with instant RTO, and it gives us added protection against security threats such as ransomware attacks.”

DRaaS is currently the only approach to ransomware protection that has proven to be 100% effective. With DRaaS, ransomware attacks do not succeed because the IT team can instantly execute failover and failback via the cloud, and they can implement a phased recovery and reinstate critical applications quickly in a known “clean” environment.

Additional capabilities are built in to add even more protection. For example, with Cloud Backup, the IT team can keep their backups in the cloud, storing data in a separate S3 storage layer, which enables long-term offsite retention of low-RPO snapshots. And with DRaaS Connect, the IT team can protect any VMware workload in just minutes with no new software or infrastructure to install.

VMware-Centric for Added Efficiency

Unlike most cloud DR approaches, DRaaS keeps VMs in their native format, eliminating VM conversions that slow down recovery. Through a simple UI, the IT team can set backup policies and DR runbooks. Backups can be scheduled for every few minutes, every hour, every day – whatever frequency the University business rules require. Backups are then deduplicated, compressed, encrypted, and stored in their native VM format in low-cost S3 storage on AWS.

With Datrium, there’s no learning curve for the IT team. They can use the same vCenter tools to manage their on-premises storage and cloud resources. The move to Datrium also supports the IT team’s objective to move more capabilities to the cloud. “We’re looking to the cloud for increased scale and efficiency, and Datrium is completely cloud-native,” said Mr. Kumar.

About the University of Auckland

Founded in 1883, The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s largest university, with over 40,000 students and 5,000 staff. Auckland is committed to conserving, advancing, and disseminating knowledge through teaching, learning, research, and creative work of the highest standard. The University recognizes research and research-led teaching as primary responsibilities of its academic staff, and values fostering, publishing and disseminating research of the highest international quality. For more information visit https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en.html.

About BEarena

BEarena, an ASI Solutions company, is an ANZ based pioneer in next-generation (Enterprise Cloud) technology with a global reach. As a specialist IT solutions provider, BEarena focuses on Virtual Infrastructure, Public and Hybrid Cloud Solutions, Managed Services, and Back-up & Disaster Recovery platforms, which enable efficiency, security, and cost-effectiveness. With BEarena, organizations benefit from limitless scalability and are able to free up IT resources to focus on high priority business initiatives and true innovation.

BEarena is an exclusive Datrium DRaaS Select Partner in A/NZ and was the first company globally to become Datrium DVX Certified Deployment Professionals. For more information visit https://www.bearena.com.au/.

About Datrium

Datrium delivers failproof DR with instant Recovery Time Objective (RTO) both on premises and in the cloud. For cloud DR, Datrium Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) with VMware Cloud on AWS delivers one-click failover and failback for all VMware workloads. Learn more about Datrium at www.datrium.com.

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See How We Do It

We can help your organization get modern DR in an easy-to-use SaaS solution that eliminates the cost and complexity of traditional DR solutions. We provide cloud-native, on-demand DR with instant RTO for all your VMware workloads. You can be confident that your data is secure in the cloud or on premises and protected against ransomware attacks.