Advania is a value-added reseller (VAR) and infrastructure hosting provider that operates several of the most environmentally responsible data centres in the world. The data centres run on energy generated from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels, and they use less energy for cooling because of the naturally cool climate in Iceland. Advania’s carbon footprint remains small even as data centre services expand to serve a growing business.
Part of Advania’s growth strategy is acquiring customers it wasn’t able to pursue in the past, including companies requiring 24x7 availability and companies requiring replication to meet disaster recovery (DR) objectives. Slow, unreliable virtual machine (VM) backup and recovery put service level agreements (SLAs) at risk.
Advania’s legacy backup tool introduced unwanted and unnecessary complexity into the hosting infrastructure. Backup traveled over the production network, and modifications to the network such as changes to firewalls caused backup to fail. When the network was overloaded Advania couldn’t restore quickly from a backup. Moreover, an overloaded network decelerated nightly backup, causing it to run into the next morning and impact production VMs.
“Our backup team spent almost all of their time putting out fires and chasing failed backups,” said Pétur Árnason, Infrastructure and Business Solution Administrator at Advania. “We needed a solution that would save us time, reduce the complexity of backup and help us meet SLAs.”
Advania deployed Veeam® Availability Suite™ in its hosting infrastructure to increase backup speed, reduce the cost and complexity of backup and improve availability. Veeam enabled Advania to meet SLAs easily and acquire new customers.
“Veeam gives us a competitive and attractive offering for a broader range of customers, and we can stand by our SLAs without the effort and cost required by the legacy backup tool,” Árnason said. “One of our customers runs military operations and requires 24x7 availability. We wouldn’t have been able to win this customer without Veeam.”
Advania uses Veeam to back up thousands of hosted VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V VMs and hundreds of its own. Because Veeam can back up directly from Advania’s storage network, backup with Veeam is 33% faster than the legacy tool and completes overnight. Removing backup traffic from the production network improved network performance.
Advania offers several Veeam-powered cloud services for customers’ hosted and onpremises VMs. Advanced monitoring and reporting capabilities from Veeam help Advania assemble reports sent to customers.
Veeam powers backup, replication and recovery for customers’ hosted VMs and hosted applications with recovery point objectives (RPOs) of 24 hours or less. Customers managing their own VMs on premises can choose Backup-as-a Service (BaaS), which includes an option for recovery verification through Veeam SureBackup®, and Disaster Recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS).
“Before Veeam we used a separate, costly replication tool,” Árnason said. “RPOs weren’t short enough for us to target financial service organizations including banks and insurance companies, but now we can target them because we offer a very low RPO.”
Árnason said another Veeam benefit is fast, reliable recovery for short recovery time objectives (RTOs).
“When the CryptoLocker virus infected several of our customers during the summer of 2015, our restore rate was 100% successful,” he explained. “Veeam-powered recovery helped us get our customers back to business fast. For example, total recovery time for one customer was less than an hour using Veeam Instant VM Recovery to get the affected VMs back online quickly. The customer was very impressed by our recovery capability and speed.”
For customers managing their own on-prem VMs and running Veeam, Advania offers hosted infrastructure for standby replica VMs and hosted offsite backup repositories via Veeam Cloud Connect. If customers aren’t running Veeam, Advania’s reseller team gets involved.
“Veeam is easy to sell because the licensing model is simple and straightforward — there are no hidden costs,” Árnason said. “Customers like having our cloud serve as their offsite backup repository because they don’t have to spend money and time building and maintaining their own offsite infrastructure.”
Veeam Cloud Connect makes it easy for Veeam customers to extend their backup infrastructure to Advania’s cloud. Backup data is transferred over an SSL/TLS connection using a single port to simplify firewall configuration and eliminate the need for a VPN connection. Encryption and built-in WAN acceleration are available.
“Veeam Cloud Connect provides a great selling opportunity for us because we can sell Veeam licenses and our backup repository,” Árnason said. “Veeam Cloud Connect also helps us pursue customers who are running legacy backup tools. They’re often looking for a level of availability that their legacy tools can’t provide, as well as backup to the cloud. Veeam and Advania are perfect for them.”
Reduces the cost and complexity of backing up thousands of VMware
vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V VMs
Veeam Availability Suite resolved all issues caused by Advania’s legacy backup tool. Instead of backing up VMs over Advania’s network, Veeam backs up VMs to a SAN, which improved network performance and increased backup speed. Faster backup reduced the backup window, which freed the production environment almost entirely of impact from backup traffic.
“Our backup team doesn’t spend most of their time putting out fires and chasing failed backups anymore, giving them time to focus on other data centre priorities,” Árnason said.
Helps win customers in new markets by offering 24x7 availability and low RPOs
With Veeam, Advania acquires customers it couldn’t pursue with the legacy backup tool because slow, unreliable VM backup and recovery made it difficult and expensive to meet customers’ SLAs.
“Veeam helps us deliver 24x7 availability and low RPOs for DR,” Árnason said. “We wouldn’t have won customers in government and financial services without Veeam.”
Delivers reliable, high-speed recovery to get customers’ VMs up
and running fast
Veeam-powered recovery saved the day for several of Advania’s customers affected by the CryptoLocker virus. In each case, Advania restored VMs instantly from backups made before infection, getting customers up and running quickly.