Remote Backup Service for Schools
This service is a managed storage backup solution for schools who are connected (or wish to be connected) to the Hampshire network via a high speed internet link. It has been developed and researched by Hampshire IT.
By purchasing this solution schools no longer need to worry about running their own local backups, they can relax and trust that Hampshire IT has it in hand.
We will work with schools if a data restore is required to ensure that all files are restored accurately.
In order to use the remote backup service the school fileserver must be in good operating order. For schools who have an Hampshire IT supplied network, Hampshire ITs procedures extend to working with the school to ensure system recovery in the event of a disaster. For schools with networks supplied by other suppliers (third parties), these procedures would need to be developed by the third party suppliers.
Why Remote Backup?
All backups are essential to provide protection for the school's electronic data resources. As the use of computing grows in schools, so too does the amount of critical data that is stored on school systems. The purpose of backups are to ensure that in the event of a loss of individual files or in the worst case the whole system, the system data can be restored to what we call a "known state" - the point at which the last good backup was taken.
Remote Backup ensures that a backup of the target school system is taken every night automatically. It does not involve any school staff. It does not involve any purchase of tapes (or replacement tapes) by the school. The data is held securely in the Hampshire County Council Data Centre at Winchester. The Hampshire IT Teams take responsibility for checking the success of all backups and fixing any problems as they arise.
It does not need any expensive tape backup device to be installed in the school. The backup uses Capita approved software for the backup of SIMS data. In the event of needing to restore files or folders, this can be done easily over the network by the school or with help from Hampshire IT.
If you identify with one or more of these statements below, then the Remote Backup Service is for you.
- You have concerns or doubts that a backup is running successfully at your school every day.
- You are worried that in the event of a problem an accidental loss of data, you would not be able restore the latest critical data of your school to get up and running quickly.
- You or the member of staff responsible at your schools has never tried to restore a file from tape or was it more than three months since this was tried.
- You are concerned that you do not adhere to all Hampshire IT advice detailed in the backup policy.
- You do not have enough tapes to cover each day/month's backup.
- You are not confident that your tapes swapped each day and those not in use are labelled correctly and held in your fire proof safe.
- You know that you have a successful backup most days. Some days staff at the school are too busy to do everything that they need to.
- There is no cleaning tape at your school or the one that you have is not used regularly.
- Backup tapes have not been replaced within the last two years (tapes wear out and need to be checked regularly).
- Your current backup is reporting errors that are being ignored.
- Your current backup is too big for one tape and is asking for another tape when you check it in the morning.
- Responsibility for backups change regularly at your school when members of staff join and leave causing a big handover requirement each time.
- You are concerned that members of your staff are spending their time checking backups that would be better spent on other school duties.
- You need to update your school systems but don't want to purchase expensive tape backup hardware when you buy new equipment.
We know that there are a number of schools who can identify with these statements, as we are regularly asked to assist schools to their recover data because of loss or corruption of files or a system crash. It is unfortunate that there are many examples where we have been unable to restore all data as there is no valid backup.
We strongly recommend that all schools consider moving to the Remote Backup Service.
There are many benefits for schools adopting the Remote Backup Service. The key benefits are:
- Schools can be certain in the knowledge that the backup is running (and is being checked) every day by qualified IT staff.
- Hampshire IT has developed and tested detailed restore procedures so that schools can be confident that data can be restored.
- No expensive administration or technician time is taken checking and managing backups
- Schools do not need to purchase and manage tapes.
- School data is held securely and away from the school providing confidence in the ability to restore data in the worst case scenario (such as school fire).
- There is no limit to the amount of school data capable of being backed up (nb: school quotas are based on the amount purchased).
- There is no need to retain any knowledge of how the backups work (or how to restore) at the school when staff leave or change roles.
- Schools do not need to purchase expensive backup hardware.
Please note: This is not a complete disaster recovery service and does not include restoration of hardware or operating systems. All work completed by Hampshire IT to restore data will be handled via normal support procedures using the school’s SLA hours.
This service consists of:
- An initial backup (or take-on) of data files.
- A managed service of daily replication of incremental backups of data (new, changed or deleted files) to that initial backup.
- A process ensuring data will be encrypted.
- Data stored in a central storage facility in Winchester, maintained by Hampshire IT.
For new customers a full backup is taken on the day the service starts, then incremental backups are taken each day after that. On the first day of the next month the incremental backups and the full backup are ‘rolled up’. This process is repeated for each month with the daily incremental backups being added to the previous ‘rolled-up’ backup on the first of each month.
The service is delivered by:
- Taking backups seven nights a week by default (configurable).
- Arranging specific time slots for the backup with schools.
In day to day operation of this service, it is expected that backups or data replication will be scheduled to be carried out overnight, between the period 12:00 am to 07:00 am. Successful capture of the appropriate data files requirew that they are not in use at the time of the scheduled backup.
Communication with customers will be via email highlighting such things as costs, maintenance and upgrades. Most communications will be directly via Hampshire IT.
If the backup fails, this will be investigated and fixed remotely if possible by Hampshire IT. If necessary we will contact the school to alert them to the backup failure when action is required by the school.
Schools’ backups won’t work if their disk space has reached it’s limit. Reports on disk space usage will be run daily, if a school exceeds it’s limits they will be asked to order the next level of disk space.
Minimising Disk Space
To assess your disk space requirements, consult your most recent backup log to see your current disk space usage. EdICTNet users will have their most recent log on their desktop.
You can reduce the amount of disk space required by maintaining a tidy system. s
You may also want to consider alternative backup methods for static and non essential data. e.g. photographs that don’t change could be copied to USB/DVD/CD rather than backed up repeatedly using the Remote Backup Service.
If you anticipate dramatically increasing the amount that you store, or your current disk space usage is near the top end of the storage package, you may want to consider purchasing the next capacity up. For example: If you currently need to backup 45Gb of data it would be prudent to purchase 100Gb of space rather than 50Gb.
The service offers two levels of data restoration:
- self restore by the school
- restoration by Hampshire IT, by connecting to the central storage and school server remotely.
When using self restore, the time the document was last modified can affect how long it takes to restore. e.g. if a restore request is for a file that was changed but deleted yesterday, it will be stored in the local cache of the server and won't need to be restored from the central storage platform.
Where Hampshire IT carry out the restore, then restore times are our responsibility. After four months, backups are written to tape. We would expect to achieve a restore from tape within two working days of a request, after which the data would be transferred to the customer.
In the event of a catastrophic loss a full set of central backup data will be available by USB disk drive or other suitable mass storage device to the customer site within two working days of a request. The restoration of the system would need to start immediately after the disaster with the data being added when available.
Hampshire IT has completed recovery testing for those schools using this remote backup service with our supplied network EdICTNet, so in the event of a disaster our support team can restore a full system.
For more details see the Remote Backup Restore Instructions.
Minimum specification and pre-requisites
- High speed connection to the Hampshire Network via HPSN.
- Local Area Network Servers or or PCs running Windows XP with the latest Service Pack as recommended by Hampshire IT.
- Antivirus software installed on all PCs and servers on their LAN and virus definitions must be updated regularly.
There are not known to be any hardware restrictions, but a preliminary IT Health Check of the school’s hardware equipment can be provided. There may be additional charge for this.
While this service is intended to back up data files the backup of software application files or operating software is not precluded. Schools must ensure that the master copies (including disks etc) of such software are stored securely, and locally. This service does not provide for the restoration of the base hardware or any application software and operating system.
The service does not include the backup of laptop devices.
Backup of third party networks
The Remote Backup Service extends to schools running network environments which have not been supplied by Hampshire IT. If and when required, Hampshire IT will work with the school staff or third party suppliers to ensure that school data is recovered onto the target system using SLA hours.
We strongly recommend that schools with third party networks test and document their end to end recovery processes and review this regularly. So that you can be confident that should the worst happen, you're able to return to a working system as soon as possible. We are happy to assist schools with the data recovery element of this process - or provide advice on how to achieve an appropriate test.
It is very important to clarify that the Remote Backup Service does not include disaster recovery. This means that in the event of an outage, the base hardware and operating system will need to be recovered by the school or third party supplier, onto which the school specific data can be restored.
How much does it cost?
Most schools requiring the service will benefit from taking the service as a bundle package. SIMS users require the SIMS plug-in and this is included in all of the bundles.
Prices are shown below for the bundle packages, all include backup on one server with disk space quota as detailed and one SIMS plug-in. Note that prices will be pro-rata for the outstanding element of a financial year. Additional disk space can also be purchased when required.
The SIMS Plug-in Component provides enhanced backup and restore capabilities for all versions of the SIMS application commonly used in schools for information management.
|HPSN storage backup with 50Gb inclusive disk space||HSB2||£642|
|HPSN storage backup with 100Gb inclusive disk space||HSB3||£908|
|HPSN storage backup with 250Gb inclusive disk space||HSB4||£1,737|
|HPSN storage backup with 500Gb inclusive disk space||HSB5||£3,072|
|HPSN storage backup with over 500Gb inclusive disk space||HSB6||P.O.A.|
An alternative but less cost effective option allows schools to buy individual components. However, the majority of schools will find that this option is not suitable for them. The price of this option can be made available on application.
For both bundled and individual component options, there will be an annual charge based on data volumes per server or per PC connected.
|Server Licence Component for Storage Backup||HSBC1||£207|
|SIMS Plug-in Component for Storage Backup||HSBC2||£42|
|Exchange Plug-in Component for Storage Backup||HSBC3||£155|
|SQL Plug-in Component for Storage Backup||HSBC4||£155|
|Script Plug-in Component for Storage Backup||HSBC5||£42|
|25Gb Disk Space Startup allowance for Option 2||HSBD1||£342|
|50Gb Disk Space Startup allowance for Option 2||HSBD2||£414|
|100Gb Disk Space Startup allowance for Option 2||HSBD3||£725|
|250Gb Disk Space Startup allowance for Option 2||HSBD4||£1,527|
|500Gb Disk Space Startup allowance for Option 2||HSBD5||£2,899|
Additional disk space for Option 1 or 2
Additional disk space can be purchased if needed.
|25Gb additional disk space||HSBA1||£150|
|50Gb additional disk space||HSBA2||£294|
|100Gb additional disk space||HSBA3||£572|
|250Gb additional disk space||HSBA4||£1,416|
|500Gb additional disk space||HSBA5||£2,806|
For urgent issues, call the IT Help Desk on 01962 847007. For anything else, see our contact page.