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
“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.