Palm Beach County District Saves $700,000 with Copy Data Storage Platform

Actifio™ today announced that its Copy Data Storage platform has been selected and deployed by the Palm Beach County (PBC), Florida school district. Using Actifio, the school district reduced its total storage footprint, slowed its data growth, and enhanced its overall backup and recovery capabilities, while reducing costs by $700,000 over the next five years.

As the eleventh largest county school district in the nation with 180,000 students and 23,000 employees, PBC manages an IT environment that’s more complex than many businesses handle. With 187 remote sites and a petabyte of storage under management, backing up data and keeping servers online to ensure functioning schools is a growing challenge. The speed at which they could deliver new services and applications was also affected by the legacy infrastructure.

PBC was able to determine that 60 percent of its storage budget was being consumed by copy data, the copies of primary data created by business systems such as backup, snapshot, disaster recovery, business continuity, test and development, analytics, information sharing, and even compliance. Storing excess copies of this data created wasted time and resources for the district. Managing it all required three separate applications for backup management, data check-in and data restore, adding to the complexity and growing price tag of the district’s IT infrastructure.

“A petabyte of storage represents between $250,000 to a million dollars—for a school district with limited resources, the expense of maintaining a data set of this size and the time consuming process of backing it up was a drain of valuable resources that could be better allocated,” said Henry Martin, infrastructure manager, PBC School District. “Until Actifio, the industry-standard solution was to throw more storage at the problem. The way Actifio allows us to get our copy data under control, while providing better protection and availability is an absolute epiphany.”

PBC’s legacy backup and maintenance process shut down its primary production system for three to four hours weekly, a procedure that had to be carried out by a trained member of the district’s IT staff. The same results can be accomplished in minutes to ensure no impact on the production environment, and with Actifio’s consumer-grade user interface can be carried out by anyone in the department. While the management of PBC’s data is much simpler, the department also gains better protection of its data. More than 1,000 virtual servers that were not tied to service level agreements (SLAs) are now being ingested into Actifio and are SLA-driven to ensure common expectations across the data stakeholders.

In addition to copy data growth and the resources associated with storing and maintaining it, PBC sought a solution that could restore data or file systems to ensure that a data deletion mistake would not cripple the department, a capability it found with Actifio.

“IT leadership should feel comfortable investing in Actifio for a long term partnership,” Martin continued. “We are no longer adding storage as a band-aid solution and ignoring the underlying problem. Actifio came in and solved this issue at a critical time when department funds have been cut.”

Actifio Copy Data Storage is optimized for managing copies of data, eliminating redundant silos of infrastructure and data management applications.

“What started as a conversation about backup and recovery goals evolved into a discussion about a unified copy data management platform to address all of PBC’s unique requirements,” said Ash Ashutosh, CEO, Actifio. “We look forward to working with PBC as they expand their use of Actifio to handle backup, maintenance, restoration and replication, all through a single, simple interface.”