The Business Challenge
Lelystad’s IT infrastructure supports all city services for residents, from housing permits to unemployment benefits. Lelystad’s IT team supports two datacentres, eight VMware vSphere hosts, 130 Windows virtual machines (VMs), 12 physical machines and 700 users. Ninety percent of the infrastructure is virtualised.
The IT team is resourceful and budget-conscious. Team members seek innovative and cost-effective technology to simplify their processes, making everyone more productive. When they wanted to gain greater control of their virtual environment, team members looked for a better way to monitor and manage VMs. When they wanted to ensure VM backup would complete successfully overnight and not continue into the next day and affect users, they looked for a faster backup solution.
“Our goal is to make sure city services are always available,” said Judica Kluit, Senior Systems Administrator for Lelystad. “In a worst-case situation, we must have systems and applications up and running in four hours. We sometimes struggled to meet that requirement, so we looked for solutions built specifically for virtualisation.”
The Veeam Solution
Lelystad’s IT team implemented two powerful and affordable solutions from Veeam® Software to monitor and manage VMs and ensure backup completes quickly and successfully. Built for virtualisation, Veeam solutions provide reliable modern data protection.
Veeam Management Pack™ (MP) for VMware extends deep VMware monitoring, management and capacity planning to Microsoft System Center, giving the IT team complete visibility of physical and virtual environments and applications—all from one console. With a unified view of their physical and virtual environments, team members can find and fix potential problems, before they impact operations.
“We are in much better control of our virtual environment with Veeam MP,” Kluit said.
Veeam MP delivers hundreds of out-of-the-box rules, monitors and reports on VMware performance, including all vSphere metrics. Capacity planning reports for VMware are built into System Center, so team members can forecast, plan and model for the growth of their VMware infrastructure. For example, capacity planning reports show them how many days remain for CPU, memory and storage for a given datastore or vSphere cluster. “One of the issues Veeam MP helped us solve was VM ballooning,” Kluit said. “Now it’s much easier to see which VMs have memory issues and swap memory as necessary.”
The second Veeam solution the IT team implemented was Veeam Backup Management Suite™. It provides fast and reliable VM backup and recovery as well as advanced monitoring, reporting and capacity planning for the backup infrastructure. “Now our VM backup completes within our backup window,” Kluit said. “With Veeam, backup takes three hours instead of nine hours like it did with our previous backup tool. And, we don’t worry about corrupted backups because we use Veeam’s SureBackup® to verify the recoverability of every backup.”
Before deploying Veeam Backup Management Suite, the IT team sometimes struggled to recover VMs and applications within the city’s four-hour recovery time objective (RTO). With Veeam, there is no struggle. VM recovery time decreased from hours to minutes.
Veeam Backup Management Suite also makes granular file and application-item recovery faster. For example, the IT team uses Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange to restore individual Exchange items, such as emails, contacts and notes.
“We’re looking forward to another fast and easy process with Veeam Backup Management Suite,” Kluit said. “We’re required to backup to tape once a month, so we copy from our backup target to tape, which takes a long time. With Veeam, we plan to archive backups to tape automatically and save about eight hours each month.” Kluit said the best thing about Veeam solutions is ease of use, which saves the city time and money.
“Veeam solutions do exactly what they say they will do, and they’re easy to use,” she explained. “Everyone on the IT team knows how to back up and restore VMs with Veeam Backup Management Suite, and that’s really important during the summer months when many of us go on holiday and there are fewer people working.
“We’re also saving money with Veeam Backup Management Suite—there was an immediate 10% savings in backup cost because we don’t have to purchase and deploy agents on each VM like we did with the previous backup tool. And with Veeam MP, we save a lot of time. Now we get the reports we need to troubleshoot issues in the virtual environment before they become problems.”
In the future, Lelystad’s IT team plans to take advantage of additional Veeam functionality. Team members will replicate critical VMs onsite for high availability or offsite for disaster recovery, and they’ll look into Veeam Backup Management Suite’s advanced monitoring, reporting and capacity planning for their backup infrastructure. They’ll be able to check the status of backup, replication and SureBackup jobs, and they’ll be automatically notified about important issues, such as free space on backup repositories. Reports will also let them track protected, unprotected and verified VMs and ensure their backup infrastructure is adequately provisioned.
Deep VMware visibility enables effective capacity planning
Lelystad’s IT team deployed Veeam MP because it wanted deeper visibility into VMware vSphere. Now team members can see and resolve issues before they become problems. Veeam MP also lets the team plan for virtual infrastructure needs with capacity planning reports that are built into System Center.
Fast, reliable VM backup and recovery help IT team meet and exceed RTOs
Veeam Backup Management Suite provides fast and verifiable backup and recovery of Lelystad’s virtual environment. VM backup completes within the city’s backup window each night and VM recovery takes minutes, not hours. Granular file and application recovery are fast and easy with Veeam too.
Easy-to-use, affordable solutions save time and money
Veeam Software delivers integrated, comprehensive solutions at a competitive per-socket price. Veeam solutions leverage the power of effective virtualisation management, which protects VMs, improves performance and availability of the entire virtual environment, allocates resources more efficiently and reduces administrative overhead.