Commvault Delivers Savings and Efficiency with Automated Data Push

Commvault is an APN Advanced Technology Partner with an AWS Storage Competency

Automating Storage and Backup to the Cloud

The College of the Holy Cross, a Jesuit college located in Worcester, Massachusetts, was on the hunt for a new backup solution. The college’s backup provider was discontinuing its product, forcing the school to find a new option. The college uses many operating systems, including multiple versions of Windows Server, macOS, NetIQ Identity Manager, network-attached storage, and three versions of Linux. Additionally, Holy Cross required a solution that included being able to push data directly to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, including to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon S3 Glacier. Harold Knapp, network operations director for Holy Cross, explained, “We needed a provider that could work across all those operating systems and still allow us to produce tape backups. We also needed a means to back up to Amazon S3 and S3 Glacier, so we could rely less on costly on-premises tape drives.”

Knapp researched and interviewed more than a dozen vendors, but Commvault stood out from the crowd. Commvault provides data and information management solutions that help enterprises meet their backup needs for both on premises and cloud. One solution the company offers is the trademarked Commvault HyperScale Appliance. The appliance combines Commvault software with a scale-out infrastructure that can push data directly to the AWS Cloud, including to Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 Glacier. The solution allows backup to cloud storage without any need for scripts or complex operational procedures. “Commvault combines its hardware and software capabilities to automate the movement of auxiliary backup copies to AWS with no operator involvement required, thus simplifying the user experience while providing enterprise-grade resiliency,” says Karen Falcone, vice president of worldwide cloud go-to-market for Commvault.

Backup Solutions Experience, Knowledge of AWS Cloud, and a Simplified GUI Make the Difference

Knapp appreciated the simplicity of the Commvault system and its ability to answer all the college’s needs. “Not only did Commvault offer many years of backup solutions experience, knowledge of AWS Cloud, and familiarity with all our operating systems, but the Commvault HyperScale Appliance also offered an easy-to-use web GUI that made it simple for us to operate from any browser on any device.”

The solution quickly delivered a storage platform the college could use to both house its data and automatically send auxiliary backup copies to the AWS Cloud. “Everything Commvault promised, it delivered,” says Knapp. “We got the integration with Amazon S3 and S3 Glacier up and running almost instantly. Commvault helped us execute the whole solution and made sure it worked for us.”

This easy assimilation with AWS products makes sense because Commvault is an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Technology Partner and an AWS Public Sector Partner. The Commvault solution enabled Holy Cross to use Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 Glacier for data storage and to rely less on tape backups and off-site tape vaulting. The company has developed its solutions to run seamlessly on AWS Cloud, providing a natural fit for Commvault customers that consume cloud services. The seamless combination of its hardware and software offerings with AWS storage products reduced the college’s operational workloads, the need for extra hardware in the data center, and costs.

Seamless Cloud Backups and Customer Support Relieve Operational Worries

In addition to replacing its backup solution, Holy Cross had other goals to meet. Those included enabling a steady transition from on premises to cloud backups and freeing up time for the operator responsible for ensuring backup success.

The college had been creating on-premises tape backups for two decades. Making stakeholders comfortable with the transition to cloud backups was part of the process and is still a work in progress. Knapp is making headway with verifying that the new backup and recovery processes work. “Everything we’ve tested comes back exactly as expected. The reliability of Amazon S3 and S3 Glacier has proven very important to us and our stakeholders,” he says.

Simplified backups with a low failure rate helped make the operator assigned to oversee backup functions more efficient. Since implementing the Commvault hyperconverged solution, Holy Cross has saved about 30 percent of his time, allowing him to work on more essential tasks for the college.

Support from Commvault was also key to the project’s success and fewer demands on the operator. With the college’s previous vendor, backup problems would take anywhere from two to three days to as long as two to three weeks to solve. “With Commvault, we have very few problems, but if we do, our operator calls Commvault, and they work through it until it’s resolved. We’re back up and running in hours rather than days,” says Knapp. Commvault has been able to relieve the college’s operational worries, too. If the operations team has a concern, they call Commvault and support services handles it.


About the College of the Holy Cross

The College of the Holy Cross is a Jesuit college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. The institution is ranked among the leading U.S. four-year liberal arts colleges.

About Commvault

Commvault provides mid- and enterprise-level organizations with backup, recovery, and data management solutions in on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments.

Published December 2019