The Business Challenge
Umeå kommun’s IT infrastructure supports every IT operation within the municipality, and it supports IT operations for surrounding municipalities. The infrastructure is spread across two fully redundant data centers that serve as disaster recovery (DR) sites for each other. More than 90% of data and applications are virtualized on VMware vSphere, such as the social welfare system for a total of 640 virtual machines (VMs). Municipality data is accessible to employees, residents and businesses 24x7x365. Umeå kommun and the surrounding municipalities are always on; therefore, high availability is critical.
As Umeå kommun’s IT infrastructure approached 90% virtualisation, the legacy backup tool couldn’t keep up, making it challenging to stay always on. According to Petter Lindgren, Chief Technical Officer for Umeå kommun, the legacy backup tool wasn’t designed for scalability. Creating new backup jobs was time-consuming, and recovery could be sluggish.
What really frustrated Lindgren and his colleagues was that the legacy backup tool didn’t support Windows 2012 for several months after it was released. They had to stall their deployment of Windows 2012 until an upgrade of the legacy tool supported it. Umeå kommun needed data protection for a modern data center.
“We wanted backup software that evolved with virtualization,” Lindgren said.
“We wanted to be confident our backup software would incorporate new features over time so we could get the most from our vSphere environment. We scanned the market for a better solution and found quite quickly that Veeam was the best choice,” he said.
The Veeam Solution
Umeå kommun maintains consistent availability for itself and surrounding municipalities with Veeam Backup & Replication. Veeam helps them provide 24x7x365 information to employees, residents and businesses.
“When you choose data protection software, you must trust its backup and recovery processes completely,” Lindgren said. “We trust Veeam to back up our VMs successfully and to recover our VMs reliably.”
Veeam backs up VMs between Umeå kommun’s data centers and recovers whole VMs, individual files and application items. Instant VM Recovery restarts a failed VM from a backup, Instant File-Level Recovery restores files from any guest operating system and file system, and Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange recovers emails, contacts and notes.
In addition to reliable recovery, Veeam Backup & Replication provides Umeå kommun with scalability. The municipality can place Veeam backup proxies at any location to leverage the Veeam backup server for scheduling and load balancing. Proxies can be automatically deployed and maintained, ensuring ease-of-use.
When a new municipality wants Umeå kommun to support its IT operations, Lindgren and his colleagues use Veeam to replicate the municipality’s VMs to one of Umeå kommun’s data centers.
Veeam replication can be used in additional ways. Replicating VMs offsite gives organizations copies of their VMs in a ready-to-start state, so if a VM fails, they can immediately fail over to a standby VM for DR. Replicating VMs onsite ensures high availability. With Veeam’s built-in replication capabilities, organizations can dramatically improve recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTPOs) while staying within stringent budget constraints and minimizing impact on their infrastructures.
“Veeam is a mature solution that continues to evolve when other backup software stands still,” Lindgren said. “We have absolute trust in Veeam, from fast backup to recovering our VMs quickly. We also like that Veeam saves us time. Once you set it up, it just works.”
Enterprise scalability for growing virtual environments
Veeam Backup & Replication is built for enterprise scalability and engineered to handle multi-hypervisor environments with thousands of VMs and PBs of data. In 2014, Umeå kommun backed up 112TB of data on 640 machines. The municipality expects the virtual environment to grow 40 to 50% by 2016 as more municipalities decide to host their servers in its data center.
Distributed architecture with centralized management
Veeam’s distributed architecture lets organizations like Umeå kommun create a customized backup infrastructure to meet its needs and manage backup according to its administrative and security requirements. Even if an organization decides to perform decentralized backup and recovery, centralized backup and reporting options are available.
Replication for VM migration between data centers
If a municipality wants Umeå kommun to support its IT systems, Veeam replicates the municipality’s VMs to one of Umeå kommun’s data centers. Veeam is storageagnostic, so it doesn’t matter if different storage is involved.