InMage Scout:  Long Distance DR Plus Improved Local Recovery and Administrative Operations

The Education Data Center implemented InMage on its Windows file server and SQL applications, and is in the process of expanding its use to Exchange servers.

“InMage really fit the bill in two different ways,” says Duncan. “Early on in the demo process, we saw InMage as an alternative to current backup and restore processes for users. Instead of using tape backup, which is time-consuming and unreliable, we are now using InMage to eliminate the impact of backup operations on production servers and to provide rapid, reliable recovery with minimal data loss.  The decreased reliance on tape also frees up a significant amount of time that we were previously spending on tape handling.”

“InMage also works well for the day-to-day operational aspect of running a data center,” Duncan adds.

“Although disaster recovery was the primary driver for the implementation, we’ve really been able to leverage InMage to optimize a number of other administrative operations as well.  Now, we can easily and quickly move applications to minimize the impact of daily operations like server maintenance, and we can provide immediate access to current copies of production data for reporting and test purposes without impacting production in any way. In my experience, it’s the accumulation of small events that cause the most downtime. That’s why InMage’s flexibility really shines, because it’s useful on a day to day basis.”

Another key benefit for the EDC was InMage’s ability to operate in heterogeneous environments.

“The product’s architecture offers a lot of flexibility, and we are taking full advantage of its rich functionality across different hardware,” says Duncan. “We have a lot of diversity here, so we didn’t want to buy a product that would lock us into one particular vendor. That could severely drive up our costs and limit our ability to grow in the future. Ease of implementation and operation were other benefits. We had plenty of onsite support from InMage’s team, and the service has been highly personalized. I can pick up the phone and call the CEO if I need to, but there’s always a person who’s familiar with our setup to answer our questions.”

“I believe we’re ahead of the curve with technology,” concludes Duncan. “As a department, the DOE is ranked pretty high for data collection activities. After expending the time, effort, and resources to collect, store, and analyze data, it would be shortsighted not to protect it from unforeseen events, whether it’s a system failure or a hurricane.  InMage was an ideal fit for our disaster recovery plan. Now that we’ve established our own DR site and are using InMage to replicate data, we have a solid disaster and operational recovery infrastructure in place that we leverage every single day.”

Eric Burgener is vice president of marketing for InMage Systems. Ted Duncan is bureau chief with the Florida DOE’s Education Data Center, a repository of collected and analyzed statistical-based data about students, staff, test scores, facilities, buses, and more.