The Business Challenge
The Deal provides original business and financial content through print, electronic media, and events. Two data centers in New York City support the company, and each center contains five VMware ESX hosts. This accounts for 80 percent of all servers.
In 2007, The Deal’s IT team purchased a virtualization backup product that performed basic backups and restores. However, it had several downsides. Doni Katz, Director of Technical Operations for the company, said one of the product’s biggest issues was inconsistent and laborious scheduling.
“We have multiple systems and multiple timeframes for backup,” he explained. “The previous backup product actually made it more complicated for us to handle those windows of opportunity, and this became an administrative headache. I used to spend approximately three hours each week re-adjusting scripts because our virtual environment is so dynamic.”
In addition to arduous scheduling, the old backup product took a long time to restore file-level items. “It didn’t have some key Linux capabilities yet either,” Doni said. “That meant restoring a Linux box took two to three hours, which was way too long.” When it was time to renew The Deal’s subscription on the old backup product, Doni and his team began looking at other options. That’s when they discovered Veeam Backup & Replication.
The Veeam Solution
Veeam Backup & Replication delivers key features that the IT team found very beneficial.
“The most obvious advantage is the graphical user interface (GUI), born of the same intuitive design as our favorite file management tool – Veeam FastSCP,” Doni explained. “The previous backup product we used didn’t have a GUI for scheduling, so every time we wanted to edit a job, we had to make changes to command lines. This took around three hours each week. In addition, we had to worry about human error. One little typo could cause great confusion.”
Now that the team uses Veeam Backup & Replication, scheduling backups takes about one minute. “Veeam allows us to select individual VMs for backup, unlike the other product, which only allowed us to select specific folders,” Doni said. “This was a big pain because we had to create subfolders, requiring unnecessary adjustments to security protocols. With Veeam’s GUI, the process is transparent because we can easily add and subtract specific VMs.”
That same GUI enables the team to view real-time statistics during the backup process, as well detailed post-job information. “We had to rely on e-mails with the previous product,” Doni said. “But now we have a choice—we can use Veeam’s GUI or the Veeam product’s automated e-mail notifications, which contain much more detailed information than what we were used to. Veeam gives us the entire puzzle, rather than pieces of the puzzle.”
However, the real defining moment for Veeam Backup & Replication, according to the IT team, was restoring individual files from LVM partitions. “Being able to restore individual files from VMs utilizing LVMs saves us countless administrative hours throughout the year. What used to take us two to three hours with the previous product now takes a few minutes with Veeam. When we do need to restore from LVM, it’s something critical, so that quick turnaround is key.”
Indeed, Veeam Backup & Replication has already greatly reduced overall file-level recovery time for The Deal’s IT team. It also gives the team peace of mind that significant administrative time will be saved in the future.
Another big plus for Doni and his team are Veeam’s user forums and technical support. “We often get answers to our questions within minutes,” he said. “This is very different than before. When we used the other product, the company that makes it used to acknowledge limitations and then promise enhancements in the next version. They always claimed the enhancements were right around the corner, but they never arrived.”
Reduces Backup Scheduling Time by 99 Percent - Now that the Deal’s IT team uses Veeam Backup & Replication, scheduling the backup process takes one minute. Making modifications to those processes, due to a dynamic environment, takes even less time. That’s because Veeam’s GUI is intuitive and simple to use, unlike the previous product, which doesn’t have an integrated scheduler. The team used to spend roughly three hours each week analyzing and editing command lines to readjust backup scripts.
Decreases File-Level Restore Time by 95 Percent - Before the IT team used Veeam Backup & Replication, file-level restore took two to three hours. Now the team restores Linux files within a few minutes, which saves countless administrative hours each year.
Offers Faster and Better Technical Support - Doni and his team got tired of hearing that the next version of the backup product they previously used would include solutions to obvious problems and limitations. Now they rely on Veeam’s user forums and technical support for fast answers to their questions.