Northern Gateway Public Schools Select SonicWALL Continuous Data Protection for Complete Backup and Disaster Recovery

The SonicWALL Continuous Data Protection solution delivers cost-effective backup and disaster recovery for 18 school district sites to safeguard mission-critical organizational data

Nov 14, 2011, 08:08 ET from SonicWALL, Inc.

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- SonicWALL, Inc., the leading provider of intelligent network security and data protection solutions, today announced that Northern Gateway Public Schools' Regional Division No. 10 has standardized on SonicWALL's Continuous Data Protection (CDP) solution for backup and disaster recovery. The Northern Gateway district services K-12 schools in the Canadian province of Alberta. After a comprehensive review of available solutions, Northern Gateway selected SonicWALL to protect vital school records and meet increasing regulatory mandates with a comprehensive and streamlined backup and disaster recovery solution. The SonicWALL CDP 6.0 solution provides disaster recovery protection for all of the division's satellite school campuses.

"Our biggest vulnerability across all school sites was the lack of disaster recovery protection to safeguard our school records from a site disaster or severe hardware failure," said Malcolm Heaven, IT director at Northern Gateway Public Schools. "The potential impact of data loss is huge, especially with rigorous compliance mandates in place. SonicWALL CDP has met all of our requirements and gives us flexibility to implement our disaster recovery strategy in the most cost-effective and secure manner possible."

Protecting a distributed network

Based in Whitecourt, Alberta, Northern Gateway's IT department manages network data and applications for approximately 5,200 students, 350 faculty members, 55 administrators and across 92 servers distributed over 18 school sites across Division No. 10. Schools range from an 11-student one-room schoolhouse to a 700-student junior/senior high school in the Alberta province. Previously, Northern Gateway used separate tape-based backups at individual sites, but those had proved unreliable. In addition, the IT department consists only of two limited support staff at the division level. They had the daunting task to improve efficiency of backup operations, meet rigorous government policy mandates and implement an effective disaster recovery program across widely distributed data sites.

Northern Gateway decided to replace its existing system with a backup and recovery solution that could increase reliability, streamline administration, easily track what has been backed up and comply with government policy regulations. With the help of Office Solutions Inc. (OSI) of Calgary, Northern Gateway implemented a multi-site backup and centralized disaster recovery environment to ensure the Northern Gateway division would be fully protected.

The SonicWALL CDP allowed Northern Gateway to retire its incumbent tape-based backup solution. Using the SonicWALL CDP 5040 and CDP 6080, the school's digital records are now continuously backed up locally as well as replicated continually offsite as part of a multi-level data protection strategy. SonicWALL CDP solutions centrally backup 9 terabytes of data from across the division, including data for its Microsoft® applications, mission-critical student information system, a Linux-based financial system, a first-class collaboration system and the Polycom® conferencing system comprised of database, Web and application servers.

"Our previous disaster recovery systems sometimes just didn't work. Once, we lost several days trying to locate missing information," said Heaven. "Now, we are no longer concerned about data loss. We recently had a flood at the central office and endured cleanup fees in excess of $30,000. With SonicWALL CDP, we were able to instantly recover all the data from all the schools."

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About Northern Gateway Public Schools

Northern Gateway Public Schools spans nearly 375 kilometers from end to end. Its schools are located in Alberta Beach, Onoway, Rich Valley, Darwell, Sangudo, Mayerthorpe, Whitecourt, Fox Creek and Valleyview, with two colony schools located at Twilight Colony and Valleyview Ranch Colony. The schools range in size from an 11-student, one-room Hutterite Colony School to close to 700 students in a Grade 7 to 12 junior/senior high school. In addition to regular programs, Outreach school programming for high school students is provided in Fox Creek, Mayerthorpe, Onoway, Whitecourt and Valleyview. Northern Gateway Public Schools is committed to providing a quality education for all students to achieve their personal best in a dynamic and respectful environment.

About SonicWALL, Inc.

Guided by its vision of Dynamic Security for the Global Network, SonicWALL develops advanced intelligent network security and data protection solutions that adapt as organizations evolve and as threats evolve. Trusted by small and large enterprises worldwide, SonicWALL solutions are designed to detect and control applications and protect networks from intrusions and malware attacks through award-winning hardware, software and virtual appliance-based solutions. For more information, visit

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Patrick Sweeney