The Business Challenge
Sogegross Group has achieved a high rate of growth in recent years, with IT at the heart of its business and the focal point for enabling continued growth. The IT department provides 360-degree visibility into the company’s business and supports approximately 1,000 users in the Genoa headquarters and more than 250 retail locations scattered throughout Italy.
Sogegross began the move to virtualization in 2006, and now nearly 80 percent of its servers are virtualized. “Our goal is to eventually become 100 percent virtualized so that we can significantly reduce, or eliminate entirely, our physical environment,” said Marco Staiti, Director Infrastructure – Telecommunications and Security at Sogegross Group. “We want a single standard for our entire infrastructure.”
Currently, the IT team maintains approximately 40 physical servers that support large databases such as ETL programming tools and data warehousing. The virtual infrastructure comprises four VMware ESX hosts with 70 virtual machines that house the email system, web applications, Human Resources databases and other applications.
The same tool that Sogegross uses to back up its physical servers was initially used to back up VMs. However, the IT team recognized that this solution was slow and inconsistent. “It became apparent that we needed recovery tools that were specifically designed to support a virtual environment,” Staiti said. “We wanted a fast solution that was easy to use, scalable to support future growth and cost-efficient to fit our IT budget. “
Sogegross turned to MIPA Informatica SpA, an IT consulting firm based in Genoa, Italy, and a certified Veeam® Gold-level ProPartner. The IT team had worked with MIPS for a number of years and trusted the firm to find the right solutions to facilitate daily management of the virtual environment. Gian Luigi Ferraris, Account Manager with MIPS stated, “We understand our customers’ businesses and work with them to find solutions that best meet their needs. When it comes to backup, security and data management, we recommend Veeam® Management Suite™.”
The Veeam Solution
Veeam Backup Management Suite is a solution bundle for VMware that delivers powerful virtualization management and data protection to address Sogegross’ immediate needs and support its plans to virtualize the entire environment. Veeam Management Suite combines the real-time monitoring, change tracking, documentation and management reporting capabilities of Veeam ONE™ with the efficient and reliable backup and recovery capabilities of Veeam Backup & Replication™, to give the IT team complete control of the virtual infrastructure.
Veeam ONE delivers monitoring capabilities that provide a comprehensive view of the entire virtual infrastructure and alerting capabilities so the IT team can identify and react to issues quickly. “The real-time performance monitoring has become a daily tool that we depend on just as much as we depend on business-critical systems such as email,” Staiti said. “Just knowing that Veeam is in place gives us great confidence that we are on top of the performance and availability of our virtual infrastructure.”
Staiti and his team find that the ability to discover, document and analyze the entire virtual infrastructure is a plus. As he explained, “We have a complete history of settings and we can document and track changes with reports that are updated automatically. The real value-add is that Veeam lets us keep a complete record of the environment past and present, under scrutiny so we can troubleshoot and recover quickly when problems occur.”
For a large organization heavily dependent on IT, Veeam ONE also helps the IT team demonstrate the business value of virtualization to management. “The tedious chore of ‘translating’ technical jargon to business language is a thing of the past,” Staiti noted. “Veeam ONE reports are easy for executives to understand.”
Veeam Backup & Replication has broad capabilities that give Sogegross a costeffective backup solution that is much faster than its previous tool. “We estimate that Veeam Backup & Replication saves about three hours a week per man in downtime,” Staiti said. “We can do a full backup at least 30 percent faster, and we back up more frequently than previously — a full backup every Sunday, with incremental backups during the week.”
Instant VM Recovery and SureBackup™ capabilities of Veeam Backup & Replication are particularly valuable. With Instant VM Recovery, the team can run a VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file. “A full VM restore is about 80 percent faster than we experienced previously, and the speed of recovery at the file level is phenomenal; it takes only minutes,” Staiti explained, “And with Veeam’s SureBackup capability, I can verify the recoverability of every single backup. It works perfectly.”
The cost to install and maintain the Veeam solution is important to Sogegross. “We were looking for a cost-effective solution and couldn’t be more pleased,” Staiti said. “Veeam is a bargain. Our initial investment plus the day-to-day savings and efficiency it brings make it especially affordable. And because Veeam is highly scalable, we are confident that Veeam will grow with us as we work toward our goal of 100 percent virtualization.”
Real-time monitoring and comprehensive documentation of the virtual infrastructure Veeam ONE’s real-time monitoring, change tracking, documentation and management reporting provide a comprehensive view of the entire virtual infrastructure. The IT team considers Veeam’s monitoring capabilities one of the most useful tools in its IT arsenal. Automatic reports provide data that demonstrate the value of virtualization to company executives in terms they can easily understand.
Highly consistent, fast and verifiable backups Veeam Backup & Replication performs a full backup nearly 30 percent faster than Sogegross’ previous backup tool, saving each member of the team about three hours each week. The Instant VM Recovery capability allows the team to recover an entire VM or an individual file, and in a quarter of the time it used to take. It also automates the recovery verification process, through SureBackup.
Scalability to cost-effectively meet future business needs Suite provides a complete set of tools designed to support Sogegross’ business needs as its virtual environment continues to grow. The highly scalable solutions support every aspect of the environment, from virtualization management to data protection, at an extremely affordable price.