The Business Challenge
Raad voor de Kinderbescherming relies on Oracle’s Siebel Case Management to support its primary mission: protecting children. The customer relationship management (CRM) application helps Raad provide children and families with timely, helpful assistance from case initiation through closure.
The Oracle solution is one of many mission-critical applications that Raad’s Infrastructures Services (IS) team virtualized on VMware vSphere. Ninety-nine percent of the infrastructure operates on 170 virtual machines (VMs). During the virtualization process, the IS team realized it needed a solution built for virtualization that could serve two key purposes.
“We needed to migrate virtualized applications and data from our old datacenter to the new one with the least amount of downtime,” said Vincent Szabang, Engineer and Architect for Raad. “The first question was how to accomplish the migration without impacting users, and the second question was how to replicate VMs when using different types of storage.
“We also needed a backup and recovery solution that was in line with our virtualized environment. One of the reasons we chose virtualization was to make sure our CRM database, as well as other applications such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server, were always available to users. If the VMs running these applications encounter problems, we need to be able to recover them in a few minutes. We did a lot of research into our options, and that’s when Veeam® entered the picture.”
The Veeam Solution
The IS team determined that Veeam Backup & Replication™ is the best solution for replicating, backing up and recovering its VMs. Veeam is a powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solution for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments that provides storage-agnostic backup and replication.
“We used Veeam to replicate VMs in the evenings and over the weekend,” Szabang said. “We called it the big-bang migration. It worked really well because everything is easy and straightforward with Veeam. It has built-in deduplication and compression and features such as network mapping and automatic IP address transformation, so the new networks and IPs could be set up before the migration started. Veeam gave us an excellent overview of the old and new scenarios.”
Szabang said backing up and recovering VMs with Veeam is just as easy and straightforward.
“One of our favorite features is Instant VM Recovery because it helps us ensure our virtualized applications are always available,” he explained. “For example, when we had a problem with a primary file server, we used Instant VM Recovery to restore it within five minutes. There was a time when we recovered that server with the same tool we used for backing up our physical machines. It took three to four hours.”
Veeam’s vPower® technology enables Instant VM Recovery, which lets Raad’s IS team restart a failed VM from a regular backup in minutes. Granular recovery is also fast and easy with Veeam because the team can recover a file from any guest operating or file system directly from a backup. “Another feature that is very impressive is Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange,” Szabang said. “My colleagues can’t believe how easy it is to recover emails from backups of Exchange VMs.”
Raad’s IS team also uses Veeam’s On-Demand Sandbox to test software patches and updates before deploying them into the production environment. Veeam sets up an isolated, protected environment called a Virtual Lab that the team uses for testing and troubleshooting. “We don’t put anything into production until we’ve tested it using Veeam,” Szabang said.
Storage-agnostic replication for easy VM migration
Veeam Backup & Replication provides storage-agnostic backup and replication in a single solution, which made it easy for Raad to replicate VMs quickly and easily from the old datacenter to the new one. Backing up and recovering VMs is also fast and straightforward.
Virtualization-powered data protection
Instead of tolerating the virtual environment like most physical backup tools do, Veeam Backup & Replication leverages it to provide modern data protection. Veeam’s built-for-virtualization approach gives organizations like Raad a solution to protect their VMs and keep operations running smoothly.
Instant VM Recovery that diminishes downtime
With Veeam, Raad can restore a failed VM in minutes, unlike the physical backup tool, which took hours. The IS team runs a VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file on regular backup storage while it works on recovering the failed VM.