The Business Challenge
The IT team at Christof Holding AG is relatively small for a worldwide enterprise — 14 people provide IT services to 1,000 users working at 22 companies on 35 sites. One of team’s goals is to mastermind new, cost-effective ways of doing business. When team members decided to overhaul their computing storage systems, they discovered they could restructure virtual machine (VM) backup and disaster recovery (DR), saving time and money.
Christof Holding replaced production storage in its two data centres with HP StoreServ, and it replaced the backup storage repository at a separate site with HP ProLiant Servers and StorageWorks. At the time, a managed service provider (MSP) was backing up and recovering Christof Holdings’ on-premise VMs, a process that cost €3,000 per month and required the IT team to spend approximately 10 hours troubleshooting backup issues each month. Up to 20% of backups were prone to failure, making it difficult to meet recovery point objectives (RPOs).
To bring backup in-house, team members had to find a solution that offered much more than just backup. They needed fast, flexible and reliable recovery of virtualised applications and data to meet RPOs. They also needed a storage-agnostic solution with multi-hypervisor support. The two data centres have 136 VMware vSphere VMs, and the 35 sites have 53 Microsoft Hyper-V VMs. Seventy-five percent of the IT infrastructure is virtualised, which includes six enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, Microsoft SQL Server, Exchange and application servers.
The Veeam Solution
Christof Holding brought backup in-house by deploying Veeam Backup & Replication, and the IT team quickly discovered that Veeam offers far more than backup—it delivers high availability. Furthermore, Veeam is storage-agnostic and provides multi-hypervisor support, so it’s ideal in a heterogeneous IT infrastructure like Christof Holding’s. With Veeam, the company eliminated the MSP’s monthly outtasking fee of €3,000, saved 10 hours in troubleshooting time each month, easily met RPOs and discovered high-speed recovery features to reduce recovery time objectives (RTOs).
“Veeam is so intuitive and easy to use that we spend only a few minutes each day reading the email report that Veeam sends us about recent backup jobs,” said Josef Kormann, Head of IT Operations at Christof Holding. “We’re a small team, so we needed an efficient solution like Veeam to make the best use of our time.”
Meeting RPOs is no longer a struggle for team members because Veeam backup is reliable, with a 0% fail rate at Christof Holding. If team members want to shorten RPOs and minimize the risk of data loss even further, they can use Veeam to make backups from HP StoreServ snapshots as often as they want, with little to no impact on the production environment. They can also shorten RTOs even further by using Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots to restore whole VMs, individual files and granular items directly from HP StoreServ snapshots. High-speed recovery features are abundant in Veeam.
For example when the SQL Server VM that runs one of the ERP systems failed, team members recovered the 3TB VM quickly by using Instant VM Recovery to restart the failed VM from a regular backup. Kormann said recovery took approximately three hours. Restoring that same VM before Veeam would have taken up to three days.
“After that recovery, we decided to begin using SureBackup to verify the recoverability of that VM and other critical VMs every time they are backed up,” Kormann explained. “We have confidence in Veeam; we trust Veeam. Trust is something you don’t play around with.”
Saves €3,000 in monthly outtasking fees
When Christof Holding brought backup in-house with Veeam Backup & Replication, it saved €3,000 in outtasking fees and 10 hours in backup troubleshooting time each month.
Shortens RPOs to minimize risk of data loss
In addition to saving time and money, bringing backup in-house with Veeam enabled the IT team to easily meet RPOs. Before Veeam, backup was outtasked to an MSP, and up to 20% of backups failed, making it difficult to meet RPOs.
Restores critical VMs quickly with high-speed recovery
Christof Holding uses Instant VM Recovery to restore a VM into its production environment by running it directly from a backup file. Not only does Instant VM Recovery help improve RTOs, it also minimises disruption and downtime of production VMs. It’s like having a “temporary spare” for a VM; users remain productive while the IT team troubleshoots an issue with the failed VM.