School IT: Online Backup and Disaster Recovery at St. Francis High -


Nick Mueller,

Larry Steinke of St. Francis High School needed a simple, low-maintenance data backup solution, so he could focus on other pressing IT needs at the school. With over 1700 students and 100 faculty members at the school, Steinke has a lot of data to manage. On a daily basis, the IT team at St. Francis deals with email, directory, and web services as well as cross-platform support and databases full of teacher and student files.

Previously, files were stored on tape in the vault at a fireproof facility at the school, but according to Steinke, “I had to always check to see if it was having issues like disks filling up or backups failing. Sometime it was difficult to find the necessary files to recover making disaster recovery a real challenge.”

Once the data from St. Francis was at Zetta’s datacenters, it became available in a directly mountable file system for instant access or recovery, including historic versions of the files created through automated snapshots. Files can now be accessed in-place on the Zetta file service, transferred back to a local storage device, or both.

“I wasn’t actually looking for an offsite solution,” explained Steinke, “because all the ones we had looked at were too expensive.” But after finding out how affordable the Zetta solution could be for the school, Steinke brought Zetta on board in November 2010 and began installing ZettaMirror on its Windows servers, later implementing on the school’s Linux servers as well.

“I don’t worry about the backups getting done any more, I get email alerts if something might be wrong, and Zetta tech support is there to help. It’s pretty much a hands-off operation.”

With automatic, encrypted nightly online backups of altered files, St. Francis enjoys swift and secure data transfers. As new servers are added to St. Francis’s IT arsenal in the future, Steinke plans to turn to ZettaMirror to grow with the school.


Nick is Zetta's Corporate Reporter, and has been writing and telling stories about technology with blogs, social media, and content marketing since the days when the BBS reigned. 

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