Reading, UK, 22 November, 2011: - Veeam Software, innovative provider of VMware data protection, disaster recovery and VMware management solutions for virtual data centre environments, today announced that it has partnered with virtualisation specialist S3 Consulting Ltd to help Markel International to reduce risk and improve management of the insurance company’s virtual environment. Using Veeam’s nworks Management Pack, Markel can get a full view of its VMware vSphere virtual infrastructure through Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). The entire IT infrastructure can now be monitored and managed through a single console, reducing complexity, allowing smoother identification and resolution of issues and so greatly reducing the risk of IT disruption.
“In the insurance industry, our entire business is based around monitoring, analysing and managing risk. There is a huge amount of computing power involved in calculating risks and premiums for our worldwide clients. Virtualisation technology enabled us to own the necessary IT infrastructure at a fraction of the previous cost,” said Peter deVoisey, technical support manager at Markel International. “However, we could not immediately monitor and manage our VMware environment from our existing Microsoft SCOM console. Spotting and responding to issues became a complex task with an unacceptable risk of problems going unreported and so unsolved. It was clear that, in order to address this, we needed a single, unified view of our entire IT infrastructure.”
Markel International has two data centres, containing 37 physical machines including ESX Hosts for 450 virtual servers, which host applications used by Markel International’s branches and 600 users worldwide. In addition to hosting email and web servers, the data centre hosts industry-specific applications such as risk analysis software. Although Markel was initially using VMware VirtualCenter to monitor its virtual infrastructure, the tool did not integrate with Markel’s existing Microsoft SCOM management console. This meant that the IT team could not get a single view of the entire environment, making it complex and time consuming to identify and resolve potential issues. At the same time Markel found that it had to create its own reporting rules for specific issues, such as network card issues and host configuration inconsistencies, in both tools. Consequently, the IT team had to perform extra work in order to avoid the chance of an error being missed. Essentially, Markel’s IT department needed to duplicate a great deal of management work in order to minimise the risk of IT disruption.
Markel needed a solution that would enable it to manage VMware using Microsoft SCOM in order to streamline IT management. Most importantly the solution could not use software agents to interact with virtual machines as the IT department had found that agents in other solutions had actually impacted the performance and stability of its ESX hosts. In addition it was critical for the solution to be easy to use and resilient, have a detailed knowledge base that Markel’s IT team could access and be quick and easy to install and maintain. Essentially Markel wanted a “plug & play” solution that allowed the IT department to concentrate on actually solving issues. With the support of partners and virtualisation experts S3 Consulting, Markel searched for a product that would fulfil these criteria and eventually selected Veeam’s nworks Management Pack.
“The competing products we viewed all looked like first-generation solutions,” continued Peter deVoisey. “Only Veeam’s nworks had the maturity and ease of installation that we needed. As predicted, since implementation we have found it much easier to control the risks faced by our IT infrastructure. For example, the detailed knowledge base means that we can recognise and respond to issues swiftly and consistently. Most importantly, by integrating with SCOM we have a single view of our entire IT infrastructure, with consistent reporting of issues and centralised reporting of any errors that arise. As a result, we no longer need to juggle two separate solutions and can instead focus on our core task: ensuring that the risk of IT disruption is as far from Markel’s infrastructure as possible.”
About Veeam Software
Veeam Software, an Elite VMware Technology Alliance Partner, develops innovative software to manage VMware vSphere®. Veeam vPower™ provides advanced Virtualization-Powered Data Protection™ and is the underlying technology in Veeam Backup & Replication™. Veeam ONE™ provides a single solution to optimize the performance, configuration and utilization of VMware environments and includes: Veeam Reporter™ - VMware capacity planning, change management, and reporting and chargeback; Veeam Business View™- VMware business service management and categorization; and a choice of VMware monitoring options including the nworks Management Pack™ -VMware management in Microsoft System Center, the nworks Smart Plug-in™ -VMware management in HP Operations Manager, and Veeam Monitor™ - framework-independent VMware monitoring. Learn more about Veeam Software by visiting www.veeam.com.
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