The Business Challenge
The Toulouse Satellite Operations Center (TSOC) is part of the Defence and Space
division of the Airbus group, a world pioneer in the design, manufacture and delivery
of aerospace solutions and products with a turnover of 63.7 billion euros. In line
with the group’s mission to make the world a better connected, safer and smarter
place, TSOC is responsible for ensuring the positioning and monitoring of a fleet
of telecommunications satellites, currently comprising 60 satellites, on behalf
of leading international operators in the mobile, internet, television and radio
telecommunications services sector.
TSOC is responsible for all operations related to the piloting of satellites, whose
lifespan ranges from 15 to 25 years, from the launch and early orbit phase (LEOP)
to their supervision once in position. They also serve as a secondary control center
for customers with only one control center. Every day, the center’s engineers collect
and analyze data about the satellite’s life, from assembly to de-orbit. This data,
transmitted 24 hours a day, provides the center with ongoing information about
the health of satellites, helping it anticipate possible component failures. This data
also provides a unique knowledge base for data analysis purposes as it allows Airbus
Defence and Space to identify trends in satellite performance and thus contributes
to the continuous improvement of their design and manufacturing.
The critical and irreplaceable nature of the telemetry data collected by the TSOC
makes business continuity an absolute priority for the center.
“Data Availability is a key dimension of what we do. TSOC stores the equivalent
of over 600 years of telemetry data history. Crucially and above all, we must guarantee
the safekeeping of this data as well as continuous access to it, the use of this data
being critical to event analysis on board the satellites as well the support given to clients”,
explains Pascal Garcia, Head of Infrastructure Systems at TSOC, Airbus Defence & Space.
Throughout the year, Airbus Defence and Space’s employees are on standby to monitor
satellite operations using resources made available by the TSOC. The TSOC also provides
infrastructure and ground resources to dedicated teams working around-the-clock
during the satellite positioning phase, in which any loss of control of the satellite
could have catastrophic repercussions. “Satellite positioning is a sensitive operation
that potentially requires a very high level of reactivity. An interruption of service
during this critical phase can lead to changes in the operating plan and result
in a significant loss of time and therefore money for our customer”, states Garcia.
The Veeam Solution
TSOC’s IT department was facing constraints in protecting their data as both
production data and backup data were hosted on a single storage space,
while the center’s backup capability didn’t make it possible to protect all virtual
machines (VMs). In the event of a problem on an unprotected VM, the team
had to reconstruct the VM with the same level of accuracy, which was time-consuming
and requiring very specific skills. TSOC had already decided to deploy a new core
infrastructure based on Nutanix’s hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) technology.
At the same time, they required a robust backup and recovery solution to protect
all of their data in a transparent, reliable and efficient manner.
The team quickly decided to move towards a proposal from Veeam®, which
was convincing in terms of performance, technical feasibility and was cost-effective
for TSOC. There were also several other factors that worked in Veeam’s favour.
“We were already using Veeam ONE™ to monitor our legacy infrastructure and were
very satisfied with it. The tool allows our users to have real-time access to important
information and alerts, which relieves IT. We were very interested in the integration
between Veeam ONE and Veeam Backup & Replication™. In addition, other departments
within Airbus’ defence and space division already used Veeam for backup and recovery
of their data, meaning we were able to find out more and have convincing
demonstrations of the solution,” explains Garcia.
The TSOC now has a hyperconverged infrastructure with a backup repository
separate from production data. Veeam protects all its VMs in a reliable environment
with no impact to production and Veeam’s integration with the TSOC’s storage
appliance means the center is able to perform an incremental backup of all telemetry
data in just 16 minutes.
TSOC can also count on a much more efficient and smoother process which ensures
the team can restore VMs quickly to their original state thanks to Veeam’s Instant
VM Recovery® capability. “Restoring a classic VM now takes 20 minutes, where we
previously needed an average of four days to recreate one from scratch,” says Garcia.
The TSOC also takes advantage of Veeam Explorers™ for granular recovery
that provides the ability to restore application components such as Microsoft
Active Directory objects or Microsoft SQL Server databases in minutes.
“Our backup strategy is undoubtedly more robust and reliable. In addition to no
longer limiting our backup operations to critical VMs, we were able to accelerate
their frequency. We are now confident in our ability to restore all our data, especially
since we know that any problem will be easily and quickly identified,” continues Garcia.
Looking to the future, Veeam’s ability to provide uninterrupted data Availability
is part of an approach to build a solid infrastructure to support the TSOC’s evolution.
In addition to its current command and control activities for satellites, the infrastructure
will soon serve as a global platform for initiatives extending to the Earth
observation market. These new initiatives mean TSOC’s customers will benefit
from increased monitoring capability and operational efficiency, ensuring they
receive high-level service continuity for the next 15 years.
Over time, Veeam’s ability to provide continuous data availability is part of an
approach to build a solid infrastructure to support the evolution of the TSOC.
In addition to its current satellite command & control activities, the infrastructure
will soon serve as a global foundation for initiatives extending in particular to the
earth observation market. Through these new initiatives, TSOC customers will benefit
from increased monitoring capacity and operational efficiency, ensuring a high level
of service continuity for the next 15 years.
- Reliable and recoverable telemetry data ensuring ongoing support for the satellite fleet
Veeam protects more than 550 VMs and 25TB of telemetry data, guaranteeing
Availability for satellite performance monitoring around the clock.
- High-speed recovery times reduced from an average of half a day to 20 minutes
The Veeam platform allows the TSOC to be much more responsive to incidents.
Backup monitoring makes it quick and easy to identify potential problems and restoring
a VM with Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery takes only 20 minutes, freeing IT from the task
of recreating VMs from scratch, which originally took four days.
- The extension of the TSOC’s scope of activity
The IT infrastructure protected by Veeam provides a solid foundation to support
the TSOC’s future development. TSOC can confidently expand its operations with the
IaaS hosting of more and more projects, as well as offer optimized and efficient storage
solutions among shared services.