After progressively adopting virtualization within their Paris data center, Business France rapidly understood the benefits of this technology and decided to extend deployment to a majority of critical applications. However, several tools consecutively used to protect the virtual environment’s data did not prove satisfactory in terms of reliability and maturity, and led to the assessment of other solutions able to ensure fast and consistent backups, accelerate recovery times and deliver replication features so they had a disaster recovery (DR) plan. Moreover, coexisting VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors implies an extra challenge when it comes to using a single solution to protect the whole data center.
Veeam® Availability Suite™ is a solution that successfully passed a series of tests by Business France to ensure the backup of Business France’s growing virtual data center with the first replication on premises and the second at the remote site of Marseille.
“We were first drawn in by the ease-of-use of Veeam Availability Suite and its quick installation process. Its reliability and short backup windows made us virtualize the majority of our critical applications such as Exchange, SAP and all the web servers of Business France so they can benefit from Veeam’s performance and agility. This approach was directly in-line with our single backup tool policy for the whole data center, with a few marginal physical servers remaining,” said Emmanuel Guichard, head of the data center infrastructure department at Business France.
Today, the mixed production environment is 90% virtualized and contains about 20 vSphere or Hyper-V hosts and 130 virtual machines (VMs). EMC VNX primary storage systems host the main site’s backups, which are later replicated locally to an EMC Data Domain array to ensure uninterrupted Availability for all the critical applications.
Guichard adds “Veeam’s ease-of-use and compression function allows us to increase the volume and granularity of backed-up data to extend protection over a history of approximately one year. A backup that was taking two hours with the previous solution now only needs 30 minutes.”
The SureBackup® function allows Business France to perform automatic testing and check the recoverability of each backup.
“For auditing purposes, SureBackup allowed us to prove we were able to recover our SAP environment without any impact on the production environment. We recovered the application in a sandbox and tested its operation,” said Guichard.
Veeam Backup & Replication™ provides high-speed recovery capabilities for a complete VM or a single file. Veeam’s replication function ensures the uninterrupted Availability of critical applications such as SAP and Exchange.
“When we had to recover an entire Exchange server of about 5 TB, Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange allowed us to recover a file within 30 seconds instead of half an hour like before, Guichard said. “We gain higher granularity and performance and are able to address 100% of our users’ needs.
“Instant VM Recovery™ from Veeam is simply magical! During a software update that went bad, this function allowed us to recover a full VM in less than two minutes, which would have taken up to four hours with the previous tool,” Guichard added.
Lastly, Veeam’s replication function helps reduce the risks of data loss and ensures uninterrupted Availability of critical applications such as SAP and Exchange.
Business France also leverages the built-in monitoring capabilities of Veeam Availability Suite to help ensure data center Availability by offering full visibility of the environment and real-time alerts for backup and performance issues before they have any operational impact.
“Veeam’s solution precisely fills the gaps of our main monitoring solution by giving us perfect visibility of our heterogeneous virtual infrastructure, which is a mix of vSphere and Hyper-V. Without any doubt, Veeam Availability Suite delivers performance far above other products on the market that we had the opportunity to test, not mentioning the regular updates that allow us to increase our performances on a regular basis,” Guichard concluded.