Learning Uptime at Castilleja with Rubrik
Terry Young, Senior Network and Systems Administrator, talks about using Rubrik to overcome the hidden costs in other backup software and easing into cloud services for long-term data retention.
Tell me about your role at Castilleja.
I’m the Sr. Network and Systems Administrator at Castilleja, and am responsible for anything technology-related to infrastructure. Network, servers, storage, backup. I previously worked down the street at Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD).
What challenges have you faced working in academia?
What I’ve found challenging with IT environments in academia is the lack of a holistic approach in building out the environment to address the needs. Solutions are tacked on over time without a general framework in mind, resulting in a hodgepodge configuration.
At Castilleja, after experiencing two application outages, we started looking for a separate, easy to use, single backup solution stack that has the ability to restore and run on its own stack (without re-hydrating on primary storage and loss of performance), support multi-purpose use cases beyond recovery such as staging and test/dev, and be cost-effective.
Prior to Rubrik, our backup software required re-hydration on the primary storage due to performance issues. I had to reserve x-amount of space on our production storage for holding that data in case restoration was needed. Recovering a VM took up to an hour.
How has Rubrik helped you overcome your challenges?
The biggest relief has been the time to recover. If faced with another application outage, I have the confidence to get the VM up and running in a matter of minutes without re-hydrating on a separate stack because of performance worries. Every minute counts at Castilleja since any downtime limits the ability of our faculty to deliver precious instructional lessons to our students.
The ability to instantly mount backups on Rubrik allows us to stage upgrades before we roll out to production, helping us avoid application outages. The sandboxing capabilities are intuitive and easy-to-use. For the first time, we’re able to re-purpose our backup data for use cases beyond recovery.
What TCO improvements with Rubrik have you seen?
Our previous backup software solution was fairly easy to use but was saddled with hidden costs driven by performance constraints due to its incremental, reverse incremental approach. This necessitates the need to have twice as much storage capacity as necessary. In comparison, Rubrik offers a forward incremental forever approach. Compared to our previous solution if I continued with it, Rubrik was 10% less in overall capex spend.
We have reduced our datacenter footprint from 11U (8U for storage, 2U for tape, 1U for backup software) to 2U for a converged backup solution, resulting in substantial power, cooling, and space savings.
What are you looking to do in the future with Rubrik?
Rubrik’s support of Amazon S3 helps us ease into cloud services at a cost curve that we’re comfortable with. Over time, we see Rubrik as a vendor-agnostic platform to help us utilize multiple cloud services, from archiving data to migrating and running workloads in the cloud.
I’m also looking into deploying virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) at Castilleja. If we host desktops in the data center, we need to have a backup solution that can recover instantly, more frequently, and more granularly. We’re using Pure Storage as our primary storage. The combination of Rubrik and all-flash arrays helps us deliver high application performance, while providing granular, reliable recovery – which is great as we explore a VDI implementation.
Download the case study: Castilleja Keeps Instructional Time Running with Rubrik.