The Business Challenge
The top priority for the IT team at Energiselskapet Buskerud (EB) is data availability and protection for its 10 companies and more than 400 users. Almost the entire IT infrastructure is virtualized on VMware vSphere resulting in nearly 170 virtual machines (VMs).
The team’s initial data protection plan for its virtual environment included outsourcing VM backup; however, that process began to get expensive. Backup cost was based on the volume of data backed up and the licensing fees associated with agents on each VM. As the volume of data and number of VMs (and agents) grew, the backup fee increased by up to 30% each year.
“Price wasn’t the only problem,” said Kay-Åge Lian, Senior IT Consultant at EB. “Backup was taking too long and spilling into production the next day. We also couldn’t recover VMs quickly because we had to rebuild them one at a time. We calculated that if we lost our vSphere environment it would take us nearly one week to get 70% of our systems restored, and during that time 200 of our users would not be able to perform their daily tasks.”
Lian said he and the team knew it was time to take charge of VM backup and bring it on-site.
“We needed a cost-effective data protection solution that was developed for virtualization,” Lian explained. “The solution had to be easy to manage and provide fast, uncomplicated backup and recovery.”
The Veeam Solution
EB’s IT team chose Veeam® Backup Management Suite™ — a powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solution designed specifically for virtualization that provides backup, replication, monitoring and reporting for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.
According to Lian, VM backup with Veeam is much faster than the hosted backup process, finishing three hours before production begins, and VM recovery is 10 times faster.
“ Instant VM Recovery is an awesome capability,” Lian said. “We’ve tested it in production, so we know it can save us a lot of money by reducing downtime to a minimum if we lose VMs.”
When Lian and his colleagues discovered a virus in their virtual environment, they used another Veeam capability to help solve the problem: On-Demand Sandbox.
“We isolated servers infected with the virus and put them into the Virtual Lab to gather all the information that Microsoft needed to provide us with an antivirus solution,” he explained. “It was so easy to do. Everything is easy with Veeam, even installing a Veeam software update, which is ridiculously easy.”
Lian said he and his colleagues were most pleased with their return on investment (ROI) with Veeam.
“Compared to outsourcing VM backup as we did in the past, Veeam paid for itself within three months,” Lian said. “If you’re looking for a backup solution for your virtual environment, you’ll be very satisfied with Veeam. It offers agentless backup and everything you need for virtualization management.”
Veeam provides EB with documentation and capacity planning that takes the guesswork out of preparing for growth with trend analysis, threshold forecasts, provisioning recommendations and what-if modeling. It also helps the IT team when it installs new versions of vSphere.
“When we upgraded to vSphere 5.1, Veeam gave us the complete picture of where we were during the process, which helped us determine how to finish the project. You have to have full knowledge of your environment before upgrading, and Veeam generates reports on the state of each VM.”
Veeam Backup Management Suite also integrates visibility of the backup infrastructure into its monitoring console and reporting interfaces, enabling it to provide advanced monitoring, reporting and capacity planning for backup.
And Veeam offers organizations real-time monitoring and performance analysis with visibility down to individual VMs for their virtual infrastructures. Monitoring dashboards offer intuitive single-click access to object details, performance data and knowledge-base articles, putting all the information administrators need within easy reach.
Provides cost-effective VM protection
Before EB implemented Veeam Backup Management Suite, the IT team outsourced VM backup. Data volume and agent fees determined the backup cost, which increased up to 30% each year. With Veeam, EB eliminated agent-based licenses and achieved ROI in three months.
Offers fast and easy backup and recovery
Before Veeam, VM backup spilled over into production, and VM recovery took hours when it should have taken minutes. With Veeam, backup completes well before production begins, and recovering a VM takes less than 10 minutes.
Optimizes protection, performance and availability of virtual environment
Veeam discovers, documents and analyzes the entire backup and virtual infrastructures, maintaining a complete history of all objects, settings and changes. Veeam is particularly helpful to IT team members when they install a new version of vSphere because it gives them a complete picture of where they are in the process.