Working together to make schools as effective as possible in delivering a quality education for every child
With three schools across four sites in Wiltshire, The Mead Trust prides itself on being inclusive, passionate, and principled.
The Trust’s vision enables individual schools to flourish and retain and celebrate their unique identity and sense of community. The Trust works within an ethos of mutual respect, honesty, and humility in which cross support and decisive collaboration is key.
Kyra Ings, Business, Communications and Development Officer at the Trust is core to how these values are delivered. Focused on, “delivering a trust-wide dividend which allows schools to benefit from IT centralisation, best value, recruitment and training”, Kyra is “future focused” and strives to, “make schools as effective as possible in delivering a quality education for every child”.
Retirement prompts major IT review and raises data challenges
Having grown from a single school to three schools split across four sites, with over 1,400 students and staff, reviewing IT strategy was a priority for the central trust team.
When The Trust’s existing IT service provider made the decision to retire, this project became even more important.
The immediate priority was to understand the solutions in place and any limitations with the technical infrastructure.
Data was stored across a multitude of platforms, with a number of physical servers in place, as well as a mixture of virtualised data, and data stored in Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.
“When we started this project, we knew decommissioning servers was going to be key, but we also needed the confidence we weren’t going to lose data”
“It had to be a solution that would work on day 1, despite knowing that on day 90 the set up would be different. Again, knowing that on day 180 it would be different again.” – Kyra Ings, Business, Communications and Development Officer, The Mead Trust.
ClearYolk adds resiliency through migration and consolidation of data
Whilst undertaking a best value exercise, The Mead Trust identified ClearYolk and sister company Soft Egg as the partners to help guide them through the project of consolidating systems and protecting data.
As an ongoing project, the first step was to ensure all of the data was being securely backed up, so that systems and process could then be streamlined.
“It could have been traumatic, but it really wasn’t.”
With data stored in multiple places, and likely to move as the consolidation and decommissioning process moved forwards, ClearYolk’s ability to protect the data at each stage was a huge benefit.
“The flexibility was really powerful for getting business buy-in and engagement throughout the process”, continued Kyra.
“The long-term view is to have the majority of our systems in the cloud, but when we’d started cutting down the number of physical servers we had, we were quickly left with one on-premise machine that was beyond vital. If something had happened to that, it would have been a nightmare”.
Process and policies play a vital part in protecting against ransomware
As the data protection, consolidation and migration portions of the overall project took shape, The Trust was also ensuring that updated data management policies and process were implemented.
A driving force behind this was the knowledge that ransomware attacks within schools were on the rise and that such as attack may have left The Trust struggling “to recover to a meaningful position”.
“It was just a situation that had occurred over time. Things had become tangled. Unfortunately, many schools don’t think about it until it’s happened to them and by then it’s too late”
“This was all going on against the backdrop of the pandemic and the challenges that brought too”.
But with the new policies, procedures and solutions in place, The Mead Trust now has total confidence that such an attack wouldn’t cause such damage.
“We feel far more confident in the policies and procedures that we’ve got in place to actually avoid that happening in the first place. But if an attack did take place, we’ve got a clear path to resolution.”
“ClearYolk has helped us realise a vision we had for IT across the trust”.
- Ensuring data from multiple sites and sources was protected while migration and consolidation projects took place
- The ability to audit backups and easily review which data is being protected
- Needing a flexible solution that could protect regularly changing data sets
- Being able to protect all data against cyber-threats, such as ransomware
- A solution which allows for the broadest range of data protected from a single application
- Centralise management and reporting that encompasses all data sources and allows for simple, management and auditing of data protection
- Recoveries powered by InstantData™ to ensure data can be accessed and recovered in the event of a disaster
- Scalable pricing based simply on data protected with no need for hardware
- The broadest coverage in a single app, spanning legacy, cloud and SaaS data sources
- Rapid recovery and access to data whether in a DR scenario or simply for testing, with InstantDataTM
- Rapid on-boarding and on-going support
At ClearYolk we simplify data protection so you can focus on growing your business. Our intuitive backup and recovery solution enables you to instantly protect your most valuable data, with a simple pricing model that grows and shrinks as your data does.
Restores can be rapidly tested using InstantData ensuring that full systems or single files can be accessed on demand when you need them most.
With built-in encryption, air-gapped backups and a cloud-first, hardware free approach you can be confident that your data is safe with us and that you’re getting the best solution for your investment.