Cranfield University, a British postgraduate university, is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management. Every year, Cranfield University delivers academic courses in 50 countries outside of the UK and executive development to over 15,000 people. Cranfield is one of the UK’s top five commercial research-intensive universities. We recently spoke with Edward Poll, Head of IT Infrastructure, about their experience with Rubrik.
Tell us about Cranfield’s IT strategy. What is the IT team responsible for?
As a leading global research institution, demand for agile services from our users is continuously increasing. We need forward-thinking technology within our infrastructure that will give us hands-free management and automated orchestration, providing DevOps-like functionality while minimizing downtime, so we can effectively support the university’s 1,600 staff and 4,000 postgraduate students.
Cloud is also top of mind for us, especially for disaster recovery. Our goal is to leverage the agility and cost savings of cloud infrastructure.
What challenges did you previously have with data protection?
Previously, we were replicating to a third-party host. A weakness of this approach was that if our two on-site resilient data centres were completely down, we had no easy way to fully restore services from our third-party provider. We wanted to move to cloud, but with our previous vendor, migrating required building an entirely different infrastructure that would have taken weeks to configure. Additionally, it meant an entirely siloed architecture to manage our cloud workloads, which would result in greater costs, complex management, and slower recovery.
Why did you end up choosing Rubrik?
We chose Rubrik because it delivered an all-in-one solution for data archival and disaster recovery to cloud. It easily integrated with Azure for simpler, faster, and cheaper backup, recovery, and cloud archival. We’re also excited to use Rubrik CloudOn in Azure to enable stronger disaster recovery. Our strategy is to build an infrastructure where we can replicate directly to the cloud and then use Rubrik CloudOn to instantly spin up workloads in the cloud – this will allow for business continuity in the event of a disaster.
Another deciding factor was Rubrik’s Oracle RMAN integration. The legacy approach required time-consuming, manual day-to-day management. With Rubrik, we eliminate tedious backup job scheduling, and the same SLA policies apply to Oracle workloads as for our other datasets. As a result, we’re now spending 83% less time managing our backups.
What other benefits have you seen with Rubrik?
- 26% TCO savings: By switching over to Rubrik, we achieved significant cost savings in licensing fees and eliminated renewal fees for software licenses. Additionally, replicating off-site to Azure was 55% cheaper than our previous approach.
- 75% reduced data center footprint: Since Rubrik eliminates unnecessary hardware and software components, we have reduced our data center footprint from 16U to 4U while saving nearly 80% on power and cooling.
- Faster backup performance: Our previous solution was leading to a rising number of failed backup jobs, thereby required more babysitting. Rubrik’s rapid flash-speed ingest and distributed workflow management guarantees that all our SLAs are met within our defined objectives. Also, by replicating our data offsite to Azure, we are now protecting our data in minutes instead of hours.
- Lower RTOs (from hours to minutes): Rubrik delivers faster recoveries for all our workloads, on-prem and in the cloud. Recovery times for a single VM went down from hours to minutes. For example, we restored a system with multiple terabytes of data back into production in minutes using Rubrik’s Live Mount. Previously, that would have taken nearly nine hours. Rubrik’s Live Mount for SQL also allows us to recover SQL databases in minutes.
- Accelerated compliance: Backup is a part of GDPR compliance. Rubrik’s end-to-end encryption helps us meet our compliance requirements with ease. Rubrik encrypts our data everywhere–at-rest, in-flight, and from and to the cloud.
- Immutable backups for ransomware recovery: As an educational institution, protecting our employees and students’ data is highly important. Rubrik adds an additional layer of defense to malware attacks by providing immutable backups. This bolsters our data security, ensuring that a malware like Ransomware can’t access and encrypt our backup data.
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