Hogeschool Windesheim accelerates and simplifies storage and backup with DMP.
To speed up the storage and backup processes, Hogeschool Windesheim started a market orientation that led to a European tender. After a thorough evaluation of all offers, the HBO institution opted for the services of DMP and the products of NetApp and Commvault. The result: a future-proof, fast and reliable environment for data protection.
As a knowledge institution, Windesheim works on qualitative higher education, research and entrepreneurship. With more than 20,500 students, thousands of course participants and two thousand employees in the Zwolle and Almere locations, Windesheim is one of the larger HBO institutions in the Netherlands. The IT department ensures that staff and students have access to applications and data that are important to them at all times.
For a long time, the department used three different solutions for storage and backup. When the existing platforms approached the end of their life cycles, the IT department started an orientation towards a new environment.
As important requirements for a new system, Windesheim project leader Robert Slagter mentions sufficient capacity to cope with future growth and optimum performance. “We were looking for a fast and flexible environment that would also be easy to manage. Our existing solutions for storage and backup no longer matched the current requirements. Backups took too much time and because we used three different software packages, management became unclear.”
Windesheim issued a European tender and established a shortlist based on the offers. DMP eventually came out as the best. Slagter: “In our opinion, their offer was not only the most economically advantageous tender, but also distinguished by high quality. Furthermore, it was very practical for us to have a single point of contact for backup and storage.” DMP advised Windesheim to opt for the combination of NetApp storage hardware and Commvault data management software, with a mix of NetApp flash and disk storage. By combining flash and disk, Windesheim has sufficient speed to offer active data quickly. The active data is available on the flash array and the remaining data is on disk.
Windesheim and the DMP experts jointly took care of the implementation of the new environment, which began with the migration of applications and data. The university college also benefited from the advanced deduplication possibilities of the new system. “As a result, the available capacity can be optimally utilized and we remain flexible with regard to future
growth”, says Slagter. DMP also took care of the design and configuration, in this phase, after which the IT department of Windesheim itself took over the management. The management has been greatly simplified by the new environment, partly because one central environment for backup and storage has now been built. Preparations for implementation started at the end of October 2016 and the implementation was completed in February 2017.
Simplified management is not the only major advantage, Slagter notes. “The speed of backup and restore has also been drastically increased, partly due to the use of flash technology. We have made a huge profit in that area.
Furthermore, thanks to the modern Commvault licensing model, we can back up an unlimited number of VMs, which is very cost effective. We also have proven technology, which is a pleasure for managers to work with. It is also a great advantage that DMP is our first point of contact for issues that our own managers can’t resolve themselves.”
Slagter and the IT team look back on the project with great satisfaction. “DMP has proven itself to be an excellent partner with a great deal of knowledge and an excellent mentality. For questions from our side, DMP went to work immediately and did not stop until there was an answer. Furthermore, DMP brought along a huge amount of knowledge about the proposed solution. Everything has been conducted in a very close collaboration, in which we also received compliments from DMP about our knowledge, commitment, approach and implementation. We now have a future-proof backup and restore environment that will provide excellent support in the area of our data management in the coming years.”