The Business Challenge
Cordys’ software helps companies achieve performance improvements in business operations. One way the company improved its own business operations was by virtualizing the IT infrastructure on VMware vSphere. As the number of virtual machines (VMs) grew, the IT team began looking for a new way to back them up.
“VM backups were slow and unreliable,” said Frank Poelert, Infrastructure Manager for Cordys Nederland B.V. “And restoring a VM could take days. In fact, we couldn’t do a full VM restore. Rather, we had to create a new VM and then restore the applications and their data. We knew this approach couldn’t adequately protect the VMs in our growing virtual environment, and we didn’t want to virtualize one of the last systems—our financial system—unless we knew the VMs could be quickly recovered in the event of a problem.”
“Our existing product is perfectly fine for backing up our 15 physical servers, but we needed a more appropriate disaster recovery solution for our 550+ VMs.”
Poelert and his colleagues looked at several VM backup products but found most weren’t reliable (backup jobs failed) and didn’t scale. “We needed a fast and reliable backup solution with quick VM recovery, and we found what we needed in Veeam,” he said.
The Veeam Solution
Veeam® Backup & Replication™ provides fast, flexible and reliable recovery of virtualized applications and data for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. Cordys’ IT team uses Veeam to back up and replicate Windows and Linux VMs among its three datacenters.
“Veeam is so much easier to manage, and it’s incredibly fast and reliable,” Poelert said. It used to take the entire weekend to back up VMs, and when we arrived to work on Monday morning, we always had to restart several failed backups. With Veeam, administering the backup process takes about 30 minutes each week and there are no failed backups.”
One of the team’s favorite Veeam capabilities is SureBackup™, which automatically verifies the recoverability of every backup. Poelert and his colleagues use SureBackup to test the most critical VMs for recoverability once a week, and they test the remaining VMs once a month. “We couldn’t test backups before we implemented Veeam because manual verification wasn’t practical,” he said. “If you want carefree backups and automatic restore testing, there’s no other way to go than Veeam.”
In addition to providing fast and reliable backups, Veeam Backup & Replication provides the scalability large companies like Cordys need for growing virtual environments. “We need to know that Veeam will continue to provide fast, reliable backups as we add more VMs to our virtual environment,” Poelert said. “And, we have to know that we can recover our VMs fast. For example, we lost a one-terabyte datastore but were able to quickly recover all the VMs that had been backed up with Veeam. Without Veeam, this would have taken forever.”
Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery feature lets users restart a VM from a backup in two minutes or less. The feature is made possible by Veeam’s vPower™ technology, which runs a VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file on regular backup storage.
“Before Veeam, we couldn’t even do a full VM restore, and rebuilding a VM and finding what we needed took days,” Poelert said. “Full VM recovery and file-level recovery with Veeam take minutes.”
VM backups are fast, reliable and guaranteed to be recoverable
Cordys’ IT team didn’t feel comfortable virtualizing the company’s financial system because it couldn’t guarantee the safety and security of VMs and their data. “Adding Veeam to our virtual environment gave us peace of mind,” Poelert said. Not only are Veeam backups six times faster and 100% more reliable, their recoverability is verifiable.”
Growing number of VMs and their data are safe
“Before we implemented Veeam, we couldn’t safely add more VMs to the backup schedule because weekly backups already took two days,” Poelert said. “Adding more backups would have resulted in an even longer backup timeframe and more failed backups. Spending most of Monday restarting failed backups was not a good use of our time.”
VM recovery takes minutes, not hours or days
In addition to guaranteeing the financial system VMs are safe and quickly recoverable, the IT team guarantees the same for VMs running systems and applications for the company’s developers. “Our developers are one of our biggest ‘internal customers,’” Poelert said. “We have to be able to retrieve what they need in minutes, not hours or days, and Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery makes that easy.”