Hungarian School Relies on NAKIVO for Smooth Daily Operations
Greater Grace International School is an international, private school located in Budapest, Hungary. The school was established in 1991 and grew from one classroom to over 200 students. Representing about 30 nationalities, the school successfully prepares students for colleges and universities all over the world. Istvan Pirger is an IT and Facility Manager who has been with the school since 2000. Istvan is responsible for managing the IT infrastructure of the school.
The school has two buildings on campus with one ESXi server and a Synology NAS server each. Istvan manages around ten virtual machines that contain financial and business data about the school. Other VMs store Windows servers, printer servers, an electric door opening system, a PBX phone system, and a custom student content management system. “Four years ago, our only server crashed, and everyone had to work on paper for a week or two before I was able to buy and configure a new server. This situation proved to our management that data protection is vital and investing in hardware and backup software is key to keeping data safe. When things are running smoothly, no one notices what happens in the background. Only when something drastic happens then things begin to change,” says Istvan.
Due to the gravity of that crash, the school reevaluated priorities and decided to virtualize their environment and invest in new hardware and software. Previously, backups were done with a free backup software that had multiple disadvantages. “New files and folders were created and then got lost, the disk space filled up quickly, the software sometimes did not back up the data at all or the admin sometimes forgot to update the changes in the backup software. Recovery was always a problem. When the server crashed, we just got lucky that the data stayed intact,” says Istvan.
One of Istvan’s former IT colleagues recommended NAKIVO Backup & Replication as a possible new backup solution for the school. “We needed automated backup software that was built specifically for virtualized environments — a product that would do backups every day and successfully. I believe we truly selected the best possible product for us,” says Istvan.
“With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, I like that full servers can be backed up or replicated. If the servers crash, they do not need a full reinstall. Previously, we had to reinstall servers, remember all the settings, restore the file backups, and sometimes compromise if the reinstall did not work out the way we expected. I enjoy the fact that NAKIVO Backup & Replication is fully automated and how fast the software switches to a VM replica. We have financial software that requires manual tasks and has been a pain, while NAKIVO Backup & Replication works with ease and does not require constant monitoring,” says Istvan.
Greater Grace International School does backup and replication jobs overnight. As anything can happen with the school’s hardware, the IT team can replicate VMs to a second building and just switch on a VM replica when needed. “If anything goes wrong with the source VM, I can turn on the VM replica in seconds. I can also switch back to an earlier version of the VM. I really appreciate this automated approach,” says Istvan.
“We have a PBX phone VM that sometimes crashes for some reason. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, we can recover this VM to previous recovery points and have the system running again. I’m not sure how else I would solve this problem because we are not experts in the phone system. Other than that, sometimes someone accidentally deletes a file and we can restore that in seconds. It’s truly brilliant,” says Istvan.
“I don't know if we could have continued with the previous software, in the long run, as the software was pretty much outdated. We did not spend much money on our previous software. Our server crashed and we almost lost our precious data. Thus, from a cheap solution, we went to the state-of-the-art NAKIVO Backup & Replication. The school’s daily operations are running smoothly and data used by students, faculty, and staff is protected,” says Istvan.
About Greater Grace International School
Greater Grace International School is one of the premier English-language preparatory schools in Budapest, Hungary. Opening its doors in 1991, GGIS has served the international community for three decades. The school prepares students for college and provides skills for the career path of their choice. Small class sizes allow for individualized instruction and increase the teacher-student interaction that is so vital to academic motivation and success. For more information, visit www.ggis.hu.