Case Study: UConn Health Reduces Storage Costs by Up to 85 Percent and Realizes Hybrid Cloud Goals

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Case Study: UConn Health Reduces Storage Costs by Up to 85 Percent and Realizes Hybrid Cloud Goals

Academic medical center avoids $20 million capital expenditure by going to the cloud


The challenge

  • Reduce costs and complexity by shrinking on-premises data center footprint
  • Protect data hosted in multiple locations on multiple platforms
  • Ensure easy access to research data for clinical studies
  • Improve speed of recovery in event of an incident

The benefits

  • $20 million cost avoidance through adoption of cloud services rather than construction of new data center
  • Ability to introduce and protect 2,500 virtual desktops in future to minimize costs and IT management overheads
  • Reduced average cloud server cost by 20% by simplifying workload migration between cloud providers when the economics change
  • $400,000 savings due to migration running six months ahead of schedule
  • 85% reduction in storage costs for 1.75 petabytes of research data

The solution

  • Data protection solution based on Commvault Complete™️ Backup & Recovery and NetApp Cloud Backup safeguards 3.2 petabytes of data
  • On-premises applications and Microsoft Azure services protected by single software solution

UConn Health

Industry: Higher Education/Healthcare

Headquarters: Farmington, Connecticut

www.health.uconn.edu

Transitioning from an on-premises data center to the cloud

With the rise in cloud-based services, owning and managing a data center is no longer compulsory. UConn Health is on a mission to reduce – and eventually eliminate – its data center footprint. As Michael Catrini, Assistant Vice President, explains: “We want to focus our resources on core activities. We want our people to be adding value to our customers not babysitting servers.”

Even without a dedicated data center, the obligation to effectively manage data remains. With Commvault, the health center can protect more than 3.2 petabytes of information across a hybrid cloud environment. And all with a single solution: Commvault Complete™️ Backup & Recovery. “Instead of building a $20 million secondary data center, we decided to use more hosted services. With its ability to protect data across multiple locations and multiple platforms, Commvault has been to key enabling this change,” says Catrini.

Preventing the loss of critical data

UConn Health is an academic medical research center incorporating a dental school, medical school, and in-patient and out-patient clinical care facilities. Its aim is to improve patient care by converting insights from research in the lab into actions with positive outcomes. This means the organization needs to be able to store huge volumes of data, and make it rapidly available for analysis when needed.

Prior to Commvault, the organization had deployed four disparate backup solutions to ensure all datasets and systems were fully protected. However, it still experienced problems with bare metal restores, which, on one occasion, led to months’ worth of ground-breaking research work being lost after a server failure.

"With Commvault, we can reduce our reliance on physical servers and desktops, which means we can focus internal IT resources on supporting our researchers and customers."

Michael Catrini
Assistant Vice President,
UConn Health

In December 2017, the health center rolled out a solution based on Commvault Complete™️ Backup & Recovery and NetApp Cloud Backup. “Commvault gives us complete control of our corporate data and intellectual property,” says Catrini. “We can now move cloud workloads more easily between providers, which means we can take advantage of the best prices. This has reduced the cost per cloud server by around 20%.”

Lower costs and greater flexibility

Thanks to Commvault’s hardware independence, the health center re-used its existing storage arrays, which massively reduced the cost of the migration. “We planned for an 18-month project but are currently running six months ahead of schedule, which has saved us around $400,000 in licensing costs for our legacy backup solutions,” explains Catrini.

UConn Health has also reduced its storage costs by up to 85% by moving some of its research data from high availability platforms to commodity disk. Security has also improved following the retirement of legacy business applications.

Moving to a more virtual environment

“A disparate approach to purchasing new solutions had led to application sprawl,” explains Catrini. “With Commvault, we were able to virtualize and backup non-secure applications before shutting them down in the production environment, safe in the knowledge that we can still access the data if needed.”

Catrini wants to take advantage of desktop virtualization in the workplace. “With Commvault, we can reduce our reliance on physical servers and desktops, which means we can focus internal IT resources on supporting our researchers and customers.”


At-a-glance

University of Connecticut health center in numbers


  • 1 teaching hospital
  • 3 schools
  • 5,000 employees
  • 3,000 medical researchers

Backup environment


  • Commvault Complete™️ Backup & Recovery
  • NetApp Cloud Backup (formerly NetApp Alta Vault)
  • NetApp servers
  • Microsoft Azure

Key assets protected


  • 10,000 end user devices
  • 420 physical servers
  • 850 virtual machines
  • 1.75 petabytes of research data
  • 430 applications

$400,000 saved in backup licenses in first year by consolidating on Commvault

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