Rapid data growth was threatening reliable backups of student project archives at the world-renowned Southern California Institute of Architecture. The school engineered an IT transformation with an innovative Dell Technologies solution to improve protection of critical student workloads stored in the data center and cloud.

Business results

  • IT transformation with on-premises and cloud-based backups 
  • Improved data protection critical to architectural innovation 
  • Retention of cloud backups extended to two years 
  • Less time spent on backup administration

Passion for innovation runs deep at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), a top-ranked, awardwinning institution. SCI-Arc’s students, many of whom are world-renowned architects, collaborate to create, explore and test the limits of architecture.

When it comes SCI-Arc’s IT strategy, innovation also is a core value. When SCI-Arc’s prior solution couldn’t keep up with fast-growing data backups, the school turned to Dell EMC to transform their data protection infrastructure.

Victor Jabrassian, chief information officer, Sci-ARC, states, “With 20% data growth annually, our prior solution no longer could back up workloads fast enough. Although we’re a small institution, our data needs are high since our students store heavy animation and graphics files.”

Culture of innovation for design and IT

SCI-Arc evaluated several solutions, including Commvault, but found them too complex. SCI-Arc determined that Dell EMC was the optimal partner for transitioning to data protection in the cloud.

“Our students spend countless hours creating animations and images, so it’s critical to protect this data and make it available at any time.” Victor Jabrassian, Chief Information Officer, Sci-ARC “Dell’s history of pushing beyond the cutting technology edge aligns well with our culture of innovation at SCI-Arc,” says Jabrassian. “The Dell EMC data protection interface is so intuitive and easy to use that we get A to Z done within a couple of windows. We also value Dell EMC’s know-how with the AWS cloud.”

Today, SCI-Arc depends on Dell EMC Data Protection Software, Dell EMC Data Domain appliances and Dell EMC Cloud Disaster Recovery (Cloud DR) to protect VMware workloads, such as student project archives, student records, administrative file shares, ERP and SQL Server databases. Workloads are stored in an on-premises Dell EMC VxRail Hyperconverged Infrastructure and in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.

Jabrassian comments, “Our students spend countless hours creating animations and images, so it’s critical to protect this data and make it available at any time. We don’t take data protection lightly because students need their files for presentations, portfolios, accreditations and ultimately their careers.”

Revolutionizing backup in the cloud

Peter Kekich, network systems administrator, notes, “With Dell EMC Cloud DR, we can recall any file at a moment’s notice even in worst-case scenarios. Dell EMC has revolutionized how we back up and recover our data on premises or in the cloud through a single pane of glass.”

Dell EMC backs up 90% of SCI-Arc’s virtual machines (VMs) in one hour and has slashed backup windows from 36 to 3 hours. Dell EMC deduplication and compression also have reduced 570 terabytes of backup data to 10 terabytes.

Download this report provided by Dell Technologies and Intel® to learn more.

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Modern data protection built for architectural innovation