MRC Africa Backup Project – Research Data Protection

MRC Unit The Gambia’s Information Technology (IT) Team, played an important role as part of a joint collaboration with Medical Research Council (MRC) Harwell and MRC Uganda in the MRC Africa Backup Project.

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MRC Africa Backup Infrastructure

The MRC Africa Backup Project was a capital award undertaken in November 2014 in response to increased requirements from funding bodies. The aim of the project is to ensure research data is both secured, protected and available, as research data is becoming increasingly more valued by the community.

Within MRC Unit The Gambia, the Head of IT, Badou Gaye and his team, Alie Jallow (Server Manager), Joseph Osatuyi (Network Manager), carried out the installation of the protection infrastructure and created a Virtual Private Network (VPN) between MRC Fajara and MRC Harwell. The move is to ensure the replication of all MRCG research data to MRC Harwell repositories on a daily basis. There were some technical challenges earlier on with the replication of the data due to bandwidth constraints. However, this was later mitigated with the use of data compression, de-duplication and optimization of the network in a joint effort with the MRC Harwell team.

This project became fully operational in October 2015 and has significantly improved the recovery time and recovery point objective of the MRC Unit The Gambia’s research, by safeguarding application and research data on-site, at MRC Uganda and MRC Harwell.

This infrastructure provided enterprise-class backup products and data appliances which protects the intellectual property of the MRC Unit The Gambia, reduces backup windows, improved reliability of the backups, reduce overheads through better management and automation which helped The Unit to achieve the data storage objectives of the funding bodies.