The Business Challenge
When Richard Setford, IT Manager for Morris Crocker, consolidated 10 physical servers to one VMware ESX host, he needed a fast and efficient backup and recovery solution for the virtualized environment. Since he had been through a similar scenario at a previous job, he naturally drew upon his past experience.
“When I worked for a large architectural firm, we used one of Veeam Software’s competitors to handle backup and replication,” he explained. “But this led to endless problems. It failed at random points in time and delivered arbitrary error messages. To make matters worse, we waited two to three days for a response from that company’s technical team, even though we had paid extra for a more advanced level of support.”
That’s when Richard switched to Veeam Backup & Replication. “Right from the start, this product was incredibly useful,” he said. “When I started my new job at Morris Crocker, I didn’t think twice about implementing Veeam there as well because my experience with it had been so positive. It didn’t make sense to look at anything else. Veeam Backup & Replication is a critical tool for anyone administering a VMware ESX environment.”
The Veeam Solution
Richard had many good reasons for implementing Veeam Backup & Replication at Morris Crocker. For example, he had experienced its speed and storage savings first hand when he worked at the architectural firm.
“We were dealing with 50 gig of virtual server space, and the other backup product took two hours to back up and another two hours to replicate,” he said. “This consumed 35-40 gig of storage space, which meant I could only save three days worth of data.” In contrast, Veeam Backup & Replication took 30 minutes for the initial backup and only 10-15 minutes each time after that. That’s because Veeam uses a synthetic backup technique that allows for a full backup only once and incrementally backs up just the block-level changes in subsequent runs.
Richard was pleased to discover that Veeam Backup & Replication only required 5 gig of storage space, rather than 35-40 gig like the competitor. This enabled him to retain three weeks of data, not just a few days. Veeam’s compression and de-duplication reduce disk space requirements, which results in significant time and cost savings. File-level recovery was very different with Veeam as well. “If I needed to recover a file from backup using the other product, it would take hours to mount the backup image,” he explained. “But with Veeam Backup & Replication, it was virtually instantaneous. Richard also appreciates Veeam’s full, correct support for Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). “I can sleep better now, knowing I have fully consistent, reliable backups, ready to recover any time,” he said.
Richard then raised the subject of full disaster recovery. “When we were backing up to tape, the recovery process took at least four days for a full system restore due to the sheer volume of data that we had. However, after we implemented Veeam, the process took less than 40 minutes. In fact, we tested and verified this because the firm’s work was so time critical. I knew if I received a call at 3 a.m. with news of a disaster, I could use my laptop to VPN to the DR center and have all my replicated VMs up and running by 4 a.m. and ready for the workers to arrive at the DR center at 9 a.m. Full disaster recovery in less than an hour with little or no data loss and virtually zero impact on the end user without even having to get out of bed—perfect!”
Increased Backup Speed by 88 Percent - Before Richard implemented Veeam Backup & Replication, the backup process took two hours, and replication took another two hours. Once Veeam Backup & Replication was in place, the initial backup took 30 minutes, and subsequent runs required only 10-15 minutes.
Saved 60 Percent on Data Storage Space - Veeam Backup & Replication’s de-duplication and compression technologies resulted in a backup file that was 10 percent of the original data’s size. The competing product only reduced files to 70 percent of the original. That means Richard could retain three weeks of data with Veeam, rather than just three days with the other product.
Improved File-Level Recovery Speed by 99 Percent - Since Richard was only able to save a few days of data on disk with the previous product, he had to rely on backup tapes to recover specific files. This process took up to four days. With Veeam Backup & Replication, it took minutes.