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OSHEAN Helps Bryant Complete Disaster Recovery Puzzle

Based in Smithfield, RI, Bryant University delivers innovative and challenging academic programs that integrate business and the arts and sciences, with an emphasis on real-world application and a global perspective. Co-curricular opportunities, service learning programs, internships, and practicums allow students to put theory into practice while building character and leadership skills.

 During the University’s annual 5-year technology roadmap discussion, Bryant discovered an unusual problem. While they had upgraded and virtualized their data center, complete with upgraded compute, servers, systems, and storage, data recovery / business continuity components hadn’t progressed - meaning an updated backup architecture was lacking. “My job is to make sure that Bryant University has the latest technology, that we’re moving forward, that our data is protected, and that everything is secure,” said Rich Siedzik, Bryant’s Director of Computer and Telecommunications Services. “Our whole roadmap had excluded the backup.”

Rich and his team reacted quickly to develop a detailed business continuity plan. “When you start to discuss things such as what to do if a disaster occurs and how critical data is recovered, you quickly realize that data, being one-of-a-kind, is the highest priority. Our institution’s data comes first – getting the facility in place, the servers in place, the infrastructure the way we want it – if IT cannot provide our Lines of Business with their data, the rest is meaningless. So we really focused on data; how best to protect that data, and how best to make that data available to the University if something should happen.”

In considering the upgrade, Bryant required a solution that would increase data availability and security, while decreasing cost and complexity. “We wanted to eliminate back-ups to tape and create online back-ups in order to have better data protection and near-instant recovery and availability of that data.”

The Actifio-NaviSite Solution

Over the next few months, Bryant spoke with several vendors to discuss possible solutions, including IBM and Sterling Forest for disaster recovery, and several cloud back-up providers that would implement IBM’s Tivoli in the Cloud. Ultimately, however, Bryant made the decision to opt for an Actifio-NaviSite-OSHEAN solution. “We felt that we had more to gain and more control, and got more value out of this solution,” added Rich.

In partnership with NaviSite, Actifio provides a virtualized cloud environment that reduces complexity and cost; in addition, its superior security and availability met all of Bryant’s business requirements. “Our data is more secure than it was prior to moving to Actifio-NaviSite. The performance has been everything they said it would be,” noted Rich.

The Role of the OSHEAN Network

OSHEAN was able to play a substantial role in helping Bryant pursue their Actifio-NaviSite solution.

“As a trusted partner, OSHEAN was able to bring NaviSite on-deck, on our network. We know OSHEAN’s capabilities, and for years we have been able to rely on the important things they do for us, so this wasn’t something new. We didn’t have to vet a new partner for any of this. OSHEAN fit the bill.”

Because OSHEAN is a member-driven organization with intimate knowledge of its members, they were able to be flexible. “OSHEAN could accommodate what we wanted as far as the security features and the control we felt we needed,” said Rich. “Could I have had that somewhere else? I don’t know.”

OSHEAN’s network also supported Bryant in implementing a solution that was timely and cost-effective. “Having things operate and sit on the OSHEAN network is an obvious advantage,” said Rich. “When I talk with other providers, they are not only charging me to store my data, but also for every bit of data that goes in and out of the facility. If I had to pay for every bit of data that I’m sending to a third party, it would be very cost prohibitive. We probably wouldn’t be able to do some of the things we’re going to be able to do now with OSHEAN, because we have that network infrastructure.”

On the Horizon

Bryant is looking forward to implementing additional virtual private cloud (VPC) services that OSHEAN is preparing to offer its members as it moves into phase two of its back-up architecture upgrade. “Getting our data up to NaviSite was phase one,” said Rich. “Now, we’re starting to look at disaster recovery on demand.”

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