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Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Increases Data Security while Reducing Complexity

"The ability to use Wasabi buckets to meet the needs of NWTC’s data protection strategy on a specific schedule was exactly what we needed. Wasabi made it very flexible to achieve these goals."

Overview

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) is a nationally-ranked, two-year public college that serves over 24,000 students annually and offers more than 200 associate degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates. As a two-year educational institution, NWTC’s IT staff is faced with a constantly rotating student body that brings with it new data challenges every year. Part of NWTC’s daily backup load consists of 3 tiers of VMs, file shares, SQL Databases and Salesforce data. They are also performing monthly offline backups of SQL databases and hope to include regular backups of Office 365 data as well.

Business Challenge: Increase Data Security and Begin Transition Away from Tape Storage

The IT staff at NWTC are looking to add cloud storage to their data management strategy for an additional layer of security. The school’s existing data protection strategy includes a mix of disk, and tape-based backups for long-term storage. By using Wasabi they can more effectively follow the 3-2-1 rule of backup by diversifying storage media and location. They are also looking to move away from their tape-based system and consider cloud storage a first step in a long-term migration process.

Solution: Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage + Commvault

NWTC chose Wasabi because of its low cost, S3-compatibility, and flexibility. As existing Commvault users, it was simple for NWTC staff to add Wasabi storage via the S3 API. It is also easy for the IT staff to add storage as their needs grow without having to install any extra hardware or make any additional purchases. This is a marked improvement over their existing tape storage, which is costly to expand and upgrade.

Wasabi also affords NWTC greater data security. As an offsite facility, data stored in Wasabi is safely removed from NWTC’s on-site storage. Should disaster strike the site of the primary copies of their data, the copies in Wasabi’s cloud would remain unaffected. Each of Wasabi’s top tier data centers are staffed 24/7/365 with onsite security to protect against unauthorized entry. Each site has security cameras that monitor both the facility premises as well as each area of the datacenter internally, and biometric readers that require two-factor authentication for access.

In addition to the physical security of Wasabi’s datacenters, NWTC was impressed with Wasabi’s digital security. Wasabi’s immutable buckets provide a place to store the most critical data. Inside an immutable bucket, data cannot be deleted or changed. This protects valuable assets from human error or malicious actors. No one, not even Wasabi engineers, can touch it.

Results: A Faster, More Secure Cloud Storage Solution

By adding Wasabi as an ingredient of their data management solution, NWTC IT staff and school administrators alike gain peace of mind knowing their data is safe in an offsite, secure data center. They even mentioned feeling safer with the knowledge that their data was in the Wasabi cloud rather than on tape. Plus, Wasabi’s multiple data center locations allow them to further increase their data’s security by keeping vital data in several geolocations.
Wasabi’s performance is also a source of improvement. Ingress to Wasabi’s cloud has been noticeably quicker than their old method, they said. And the college’s new 10 Gb/s Internet connection allows them to perform their daily backups even faster.
From a budgetary perspective, Wasabi’s Reserved Capacity Storage pricing model gives NWTC the ability to plan out IT expenditures years in advance. The upfront purchasing also fits nicely with existing disaster recovery budgets, reducing complexity.
NWTC’s use of the cloud puts them in an optimal position to nimbly adapt to their changing industry. As more and more cloud services like Blackboard Learn and Office 365 become essential for higher education, institutions need to be ready with a cloud storage solution to handle the incoming data deluge. With Wasabi as their storage destination, they will be better prepared for any data challenge.

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