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Halton District School Board

Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) learned early on how ripe the education market can be. Ever since the mid-1980s boom in computers for education, technology companies have been angling for an educational foothold.

Computer Associates International (NYSE: CA), for example, scored a recent win when Canada's Halton District School Board (HDSB) selected the Islandia, N.Y., software titan's BrightStor Enterprise Backup system to manage and automate its critical data protection operations.

Big deal, right? Was it even worth a press release?

Actually HDSB, a regional school board, serves approximately 45,000 public school students in four municipalities in southern Ontario. With 4,000 teachers, administrators, and support personnel, it is one of the region's largest employers and has a $300 million budget. More importantly for our purposes, CA's storage software links up 87 different Compaq servers across the district's SAN, says Fern Pinho, HDSB's manager of network operations and telecommunications.

Before the installation, HDSB teachers literally went against union regulations to change each server's 4-millimeter backup tapes each week, says Pinho, who adds that at each elementary server site, people would need to move a tape's contents from the C Drive to the D drive weekly. "We had two tape libraries with 15 tapes in each library -- it was quite a mess," he says.

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