Parallo rips out complex university backup solution

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Parallo rips out complex university backup solution

Trans-Tasman managed services provider Parallo has been a godsend for the Australian Catholic University’s backup and file services platforms, with a new solution replacing several disparate pieces of technology.

ACU was facing performance and capacity issues with its legacy backup and file services platforms, which were supported by ageing, complex infrastructure that was not suited to next-generation architectures, such as cloud.

The university’s old backup and file management stack was built on multiple products ranging from Commvault, Veeam and tape libraries for backup, with EMC Isilon and Celera for file services. Parallo said the legacy architecture was fragmented, complex to manage and lacked the ability to enable a hybrid cloud strategy.

The nature of the existing technology stack made it challenging for ACU to extract business value out of its data, especially given its fragmentation across complex backup, test-dev, file services and tape solutions.

Parallo said the uni’s IT team were managing two backup platforms, one for the virtual environment and the other for the database environments, making operational recovery complex. All student, home directories, group folders and research data were spread across two legacy Isilon and Celera platforms, which made tasks like search, recover and provisioning of file shares complex and slow.

Simplification was the name of Parallo’s game for this project, which they achieved by architecting a Cohesity-based solution to consolidate backup, file services, tape archival, cloud and analytics onto a “policy-driven web-scale platform”. Cloud archiving was also achieved, using Microsoft Azure as the infrastructure host. Parallo said it effectively reduced the number of management interfaces from five to one.

Now the solution for backup, and file management is controlled through a single user interface, as opposed to several different vendor systems.

The solution also supports the university's move onto Office 365, and will benefit from the protection of OneDrive, SharePoint and Exchange Online workloads.

Parallo also noted that because Cohesity leveraged commodity Intel X86 server hardware, all workloads could be consolidated onto a web-scale platform.

The lack of proprietary hardware associated with legacy systems also changed the economics of the architecture significantly, with the provider reporting that the total cost of ownership of the Cohesity solution was less than the overall annual maintenance contracts of the incumbent solutions.

Australian Catholic University chief information officer Niranjan Prabhu said the project was a success for the team and wider university stakeholders.

“I believe we realised the following benefits from the project, removed risk from aged and numerous platforms, reduced overall cost and complexity, and improved user experience both operationally and with the wider stakeholders interaction around file services and recover. We also now have a modern and flexible platform to manage our data, no matter the location,” he said.

“In addition, we have peace of mind that we have a robust and scalable platform. It also supports ACU’s cloud journey as part of our overall digital transformation. I’m also interested in the future benefits, which I think are its ability to provide insights from the data, using Cohesity Analytics. We'll also have continued data reduction as we scale.”


Parallo is a finalist in the 'Modernising Infrastructure' category in the 2019 CRN Impact Awards. For a list of all finalists and further details on the awards, please head to the CRN Impact Awards hub

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