Keeping Our Data Safe From the Unexpected – The BCNET Shared Backup Service

Research-intensive and higher education campuses in Victoria and the Lower Mainland require a secure place to backup and store critical data outside the West Coast’s earthquake zone. Providing a distant and secure place to safeguard important data would enable them to access, manage, store and recover this data in the event of an unforeseen event, whether it be natural disaster or simple human error.

In response to this collective need, BCNET formed a project team that has successfully delivered a cost-effective service solution as well as operational model for a Shared Data Backup Service. Starting with the negotiation of a common data storage supplier, the development of financial and management frameworks, and finally the deployment of shared NetApp storage equipment, the service is now operational and ready to serve the needs of BC’s higher education community. Through this shared approach, BCNET has reduced costs by as much as 50 percent from other ‘cloud’ options.

The Shared Backup Service leverages BCNET’s high-speed, high-capacity, advanced network to distribute campus data and storage equipment to campus sites located outside of the Lower Mainland. The network connects all universities and institutes in B.C. and serves as a shared and secure platform for transferring data and services amongst institutions.

Join the panel discussion to hear perspectives from the administrators, technical staff and end users of the service. Members of the project team will detail the technical processes (network connectivity, equipment configuration, available protocols, backup/restore techniques, etc.), as well as the benefits of the service.

Panel Participants

Jeff Bryer

Jeff Bryer began his career at Simon Fraser University in 1993 after graduating with a B.Sc (Hon) in Genetics at the University of Manitoba. Working as a Unix/Lan admin and grad student in the Department of Molecular Biology, Jeff took a position within the central IT Services department in 1999. There Jeff has served as a Unix SysAdmin, Storage Admin, and Backup Admin. Jeff has also been highly involved with the professional staff association at SFU, currently serving his fifth term as president.

Andree Toonk, Network Analyst, BCNET

Andree Toonk received his M.Sc. degree in System and Network Engineering from the University of Amsterdam and has several years of professional experience working with research networks. His specialties include optical networks, control plane technologies and IPv6.

As a BCNET Network Analyst, Andree’s primary focus is on the BCNET network architecture. While living in The Netherlands, Andree was a member of the network research group at SARA Computing and Networking Services. Most of Andree’s work was on behalf of SURFnet, the Dutch national research network and the largest open lightpath exchange in Europe, NetherLight. Before that Andree worked at the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), the worlds largest Internet exchange.

Andree is the author of open source and communities tools such as the Perl TL1-Toolkit and Andree is also the co-author of several papers.


Clarence Lee, Client Services Manager, BCNET

William Craven

William Craven received a PhD in Computational Mathematics with Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Sussex. He then pursued a career in computing technology starting as Computational/Systems Analyst at the University of Manchester Regional Computer Centre, a High Performance Computing facility for the UK academic community, working primarily on compilers for complex mathematical models. He returned to work at the University of Sussex Computing Service as Systems Analyst on primarily UNIX based systems including the early versions of SMP computers for the research community. For the last 16 years William has been working at the University of British Columbia in various roles within the UBC IT Systems Team. His current position is Systems Architect with primary focus on storage architecture and its implementation in the virtualisation cloud.


Panel Discussion

Intended Audience

Campus Networks, General Audience

Session Duration

60 Minutes

Session Schedule

Wednesday May 2nd, 2012

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Fletcher Theatre (1900)


Jim Cranston