Founded in 1495, Aberdeen University is a top 200 leading international research institution with a world class global reputation. With circa 14,000 students and growing amounts of critical research data (hundreds of terabytes and rising), the University needed a data management solution that would enable them to safely and quickly store all of their data across the different schools and allow them to do it with the minimum human intervention. The University had previously used a solution which proved complex to learn and maintain, and required a dedicated IT staff member to monitor the solution.
As well as the need to safe-guard the data the University also needed to ensure that its growing amounts of data could be shared more efficiently and with wider audiences, while also reducing risk through enhanced compliance preparedness.
After researching the market and carrying out a full tender, the University, with the help of its IT partner, COOLSPIRiT, chose the Commvault data management platform. The centralised platform ensured that the IT team could manage and securely make available very granular back-up details for compliance, and to prove research credibility to other users/buyers. In addition, the University has been able to establish a data management process that enables simple transition between local public, private or hybrid cloud environments. These elements combine to ensure that the University’s research can be made available to the widest possible audience with the maximum assurance of research data quality, usage history and integrity.
As well as answering the challenges of security, sharing and simplicity the Commvault solution also enabled the University’s research offerings to maintain data integrity. By delivering extremely granular data history and usage analysis, data could be retrieved quickly, with a comprehensive user access record for compliance purposes. The solution also enables much wider access by internal and external research partners than had previously been possible.
From a day-to-day perspective, general support and maintenance of the legacy system used to require a dedicated FTE resource for their full 40 hours per week. With Commvault, all support necessary for smooth running took only around 10 hours per week, a 75% efficiency improvement. Commvault’s solution also reduced risk with a simpler user training process for wider functionality, meaning more team members have been trained to use the system, and a consistent user interface now exists for all data management functions.
“Commvault answered all of our requirements,” explained Glen Douglas, Server Operations Team Lead for the University of Aberdeen. “We chose it because it had the best features and the best price for our requirements. Many of the features that are standard within the Commvault solutions were add-ons or simply not available with other suppliers, costing us time, money and increasing time to prove the data integrity of research when required. Commvault is compatible with all the other systems and platforms we were using – that we could easily customize and as the organisation needed.”
Commvault has allowed the University to prioritise which data it backs up rather than prioritising machines. Not only has it given the University enough backup capacity to grow into, but Commvault also allows multi-tenancy so it can provide back up to other organisations and generate additional income by renting, or allocating space.
“Both COOLSPIRiT and Commvault have gone above and beyond with this implementation. No matter what the issue or challenge, I’m always confident Commvault and COOLSPIRiT will work it out in our favour. In the future, we’ll be looking at moving specific datasets into the cloud,” Glen continued, “and when we are ready, the Commvault platform will help facilitate that.”
Bruce Park, Area Vice President of UK & Ireland at Commvault, added, “The University of Aberdeen is the latest example of how our software platform can control costs for any infrastructure and reduce risk dramatically. The rapid growth of data in the public sector means they are having to rethink how to securely store, manage, protect and use their data cost effectively. Commvault is helping organisations react faster to business demands while making it easier for them to gain more value from their data.”