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Link Alander, Lone Star College System - VMworld 2011 - theCUBE

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Uploaded on Sep 9, 2011

SiliconANGLE's theCube presented a spotlight on backup and recovery at VMworld 2011. Guest Link Alander, Associate Vice-Chancellor of Lone Star College System, met with Dave Vellante, Co-Founder of Wikibon to discuss how they use backup and recovery in the education arena.

The Lone Star College System is the largest community college system in the Houston, Texas area, and soon to be the largest in the entire state. From an IT aspect, there was a challenge in its ability to meet the current demand of almost 100,000 students, having grown from 63,000 students in 2008 to the 100K range in 2011. It currently has six campuses online over a span of 1400 square miles. They need the ability to provide services from the infrastructure side, as well as operational support needed at the campus level.

Alander proclaimed, "The best opportunity you can ever have is the opportunity to rip and replace everything." In just eighteen months they implemented an entire centralized VM environment, a new WAN structure to support it, and increased from 5% virtualization to 93%. They expect to reach the 98% virtualization mark and maintain it by the end of the year. In a nutshell, "Virtualization is king for us."

Alander and his team were fully pro-active in selecting their partners, anticipating potential issues before the new system was implemented, rather than waiting until they ran into problems after the fact. They explored who could give them instant recovery, who could they trust that the back-up is really happening, and who could ensure that the data is protected. They ended up using EMC's Avamar backup and recovery solution for VMware environments.

Vellante asked if the industry is getting better in solving the problem the school was facing back in 2008. Alander said they are constantly keeping track of changes in the industry now, and they're always looking for different strategies. Not so much for change, he said, but for validation of their existing backup and recovery system, knowing what it can and can't do. Alander was firm in his statement, "We're not going to become stagnant."

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