Texas A&M

Renowned University Protects Field Research With Easy Endpoint Backup

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I have full trust in Backblaze that, if something were to happen, I could easily retrieve what I need. Hopefully that never happens, but the benefit is having the peace of mind that our data is secure.

Mario Hernandez, IT Manager III, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University–Kingsville


Texas A&M University’s central IT department had handled backups for the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M–Kingsville prior to 2023. As the Institute’s IT infrastructure matured, central IT gave over more control, including backups for faculty and staff endpoints. The Institute needed an endpoint backup solution to protect data on researchers’ laptops in the field and on-site, knowing researchers in the field don’t always follow protocols to the letter when it comes to saving their data.


The Institute’s IT manager implemented Backblaze Computer Backup after getting a recommendation from a peer at another A&M branch campus and reading positive reviews online. Working through the University’s procurement process was simplified by the Backblaze partnership with reseller CDW. And as soon as the ink was dry, deploying Backblaze to all faculty and staff only took about a day.


Now that Backblaze is in place, the Institute’s IT manager doesn’t have to worry about keeping that data safe no matter where it lives. He’s able to remotely manage faculty and staff backups, and restrict them if needed. And he knows that, with no added fees, recoveries won’t be cost prohibitive. All this leads to total protection of critical research data without interrupting researchers’ critical work.

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Established in 1981, the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute is the leading wildlife research organization in Texas and one of the finest in the nation. Based out of Texas A&M University, a Tier 1 Research institution, the Institute’s mission is to provide science-based information for enhancing the conservation and management of Texas wildlife.

Protecting the Data and Researchers

As the IT manager for the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University–Kingsville, Mario Hernandez is responsible for keeping the Institute’s research data safe, protected, and accessible—data that spans complex wildlife-related research studies and keeps the Institute on the cutting edge in advancing conservation and management of wildlife.

Most of our researchers use Dell laptops, and they guard those things with their lives because all their data is installed on those internal hard drives.

Mario Hernandez, IT Manager III, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University–Kingsville

Why the Institute Needed Backups

While researchers are experts in what they do, they’re not all experts in saving data according to IT protocols. Hernandez doesn’t expect them to be, so he knows it’s his job to make sure data backups are taken care of. The University’s central IT department had handled backups before Hernandez arrived in his position in 2023. When he got there, he invested in a high-performance server for research data. With that level of maturity, central IT gave Hernandez control not only over the server, but endpoint backups, too. Hernandez sought a trustworthy, reliable endpoint backup provider, and Backblaze came highly recommended by a peer at Texas A&M–Corpus Christi. Hernandez had concerns about the cost of recoveries, but was pleased to find that there were no additional fees with

Backblaze—it was one of the key advantages of the Backblaze solution.

Cutting Through Procurement Tape

Thanks to Backblaze’s established partnership with IT reseller, CDW, getting approval through the University’s procurement department was as painless as possible—Backblaze was already an established CDW vendor. Hernandez said, “The purchase and implementation was probably one of the easiest I’ve been through, and I’ve been doing this for 10 years. I interfaced with the CIO to make sure we could use Backblaze and he said yes. Since then, I've spoken highly of Backblaze to our CIO and other departments may be adopting Backblaze as well.”

Rollout and Management

To deploy Backblaze, Hernandez created invitations and sent them to faculty and staff both in the field and on-site using the Backblaze Groups administrative functionality. He also used PDQ Deploy, a silent installation tool, on a few endpoints to ensure they were backed up. The entire deployment took about one day. Now that Backblaze is deployed, researchers in the field are typically backed up when they connect to Wi-Fi using their University-provided hotspots or when they get back from their fieldwork and reconnect to the internet. Hernandez had concerns about locking down end user privileges because some of their researchers have general admin credentials to the laptop. With Backblaze Groups, he can restrict end users’ abilities to modify or delete their backups.

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The Backblaze UI and deployment process are very user friendly. If I won the lottery and someone had to take over, I’m fully confident they could do what they needed because everything is easy to understand and use.

Mario Hernandez, IT Manager III, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University–Kingsville

Backups Secured; Wildlife Protected

Hernandez’s biggest headache was finding a data backup system in the first place. Since he implemented Backblaze he’s been able to dedicate more of his time to server management and other IT projects. Faculty and staff have only responded positively to say they were surprised by how fast and easy it was to install and how quietly it runs in the background.

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