"When people need something, they usually need it now."
Andy Stewart, Frankton-Lapel Community Schools
When Frankton-Lapel Community Schools replaced their DLT drives with the Cybernetics HSTC, the result was a more efficient, simplified storage solution that allowed them to achieve their highest operating standards and meet the demands of their constantly-expanding school system. Frankton-Lapel Community Schools (FLCS), of Madison County, Indiana, is comprised of two elementary schools and two junior/senior high schools. In recent years, FLCS has experienced significant increases in student enrollment; additional schools are in the planning stages. They currently maintain over 700 workstations and network devices for the input and storage of grades, attendances records and test scores. Data integrity is absolutely crucial to the successful operation of the FLCS district, making a viable backup solution one of their top priorities. For years, the FLCS has been backing up to DLT drives using what they described as "really old tapes". By the time they were given the order to update their storage system, the department was responsible for over 10,000 tapes. A decreasing backup window only exacerbated the frustration caused by the volume of tapes. Long back up and data recovery times were proving inadequate for task completion. Running a daily backup alone required a 12-hour window, resulting in excessive department downtime. Sluggish data recovery processes - often taking more than 15 minutes just to load the tapes - were becoming completely unacceptable in an environment where, as Stewart puts it, "when people need something, they usually need it now." When FLCS IT began searching for a new storage device, they knew exactly what their priorities were: greater capacity and fewer tapes! After reviewing the challenges faced by the FCLS IT department, Cybernetics Network Storage Analysts had no doubt that the Cybernetics HSTC was the best all-around solution for this site. The HSTC is a disk-to-disk-to-tape backup solution, incorporating tape virtualization for high-speed backup with redundant, removable media archival. With iSCSI connectivity, the HSTC connects directly to the Ethernet network and provides centralized, shared storage for multiple host platforms. The HSTC has integral virtual tape drives that are accessible from each server on the network with independent, simultaneous backup streams for each host. After the backup is completed at disk-to-disk speed, the data is archived to tape in an offline mode directly to a locally attached tape device at maximum streaming rate, with no impact on any server operations. Once Cybernetics introduced Andy Stewart to the HSTC, he recognized it as the solution he had been searching for. "When I found the HSTC," says Stewart, "I was determined to get it." According to Andy, the HSTC has remedied every problem previously encountered in their backup and recovery procedures. The restores are now "lightning quick" and backups are completed in half the time with a greater amount of data replicated. Perhaps the most tangible benefit for the department is the freedom from tapes, which are now utilized solely for off-site data storage. Overall, FCLS credits the speed and reliability of the HSTC with completely revitalizing their backup operations.
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