Case Study Fresno City College (Data Backup and Archive)

Executive Summary

Fresno City College was established in 1910 and has a rich and diverse historyofoffering innovative instructional programs in anticipation of and responsive to the lifelong learning needs of diverse population. The College provides a wide variety of supportive services to assist our students in achieving their educational goals.


Retaining, archiving, and transferring data to a colocation data center carry potential security risks and vulnerabilities. Fresno City College, a forward-thinking institute of higher learning based in California, needed a comprehensive solution for backing up and retaining their data. When they first approached nOps, they were backing up their data by transferring it to a colocation data center for storage and archival with a retention period for long-term storage. Fresno City College realized they were spending more than necessary, potentially exposing themselves to unacceptable security risks and leaving themselves vulnerable to data due to data transfer over a network without any encryption or security.


Fresno City College approachednOpswith the request to provide a solution for their data backup and archival challenges. nOpsperformed a discovery process andcame out with opportunities to reframe the storage solution. nOps through the discovery process, advised the use of AWS cloud, specifically Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) with nClouds Archive Manager for backup purposes and Amazon S3 Standard-Infrequent Access (S3 Standard-IA) as the remote location archival solution for their 10TB of data.

A comprehensive solution for backing up and retaining data using nOps best practices and AWS Well-Architected Framework was designed and implemented. In addition to the stated issues, the solution also considered various regulatory, security, privacy, and life-cycle management requirements.

  • The solution made use of nClouds Archive Manager software to create backups in Fresno City College’s on-premises local storage and then further send to the AWS cloud.
  • Data is encrypted at both the source and the destination, and backup data was encrypted in transit over SSL/TLS and sent to the Amazon S3 bucket by the Archive Manager.
  • AWS KMS was used for the S3 bucket encryption and data was not publicly accessible during the whole process.
  • For long-term storage and archival intent, the Amazon S3 objects were then transitioned to Amazon S3 Standard Infrequent Access (S3 Standard IA) using life cycle policies.

S3 Standard-IA served the customer’s key requirement of the low-cost solution, including all the functionalities of S3, and provided rapid object access during disaster recovery scenarios. A total of about 20 Terabytes of data was transferred to Amazon Simple Storage Service.

Benefits – Speed, Agility, Cost Effectiveness and Enhanced Security

Partnering with nOps and AWS enabled Fresno City College to not only improve their overall storage strategy but also helped them improve their security, moreover, also provided them with the means to adhere to all state governance regulations.

The solution leveraged by nOps for Fresno City College saved them over 70% cost over their on-premise legacy storage methodology which was costing them $10,000 per month thus resulting in reducing their data backup and archiving cost to $3,000 per month and reducing their total upfront cost from $20000 to $6,000.

Fresno City College is experiencing real financial and operational benefits from nClouds Archive Manager Software purpose-built on AWS storage solution. The cost savings, approximately 70%, are inclusive of elements such as: no longer being required to purchase network and storage equipment, no further cost related to colocation data centers and human error, the fees associated with external, 3rd party, long-term storage, and others. Furthermore, Fresno City College has now achieved total compliance with all state governance laws, ensuring that lifecycle rules are followed.

Solution Architecture