The business challenges
There are two words that strike terror in the heart of any IT professional:
system crash. If the next two words are data loss, the situation escalates
from bad to worse.
That’s what happened when an IT system containing private identifiable
information (PII) including employees’ names, addresses and social security
numbers crashed at a federal government agency.
“We were backing up and replicating our PII system three times each day
to four locations on-premises,” explained the IT Project Manager who
experienced the situation firsthand. “We thought there was no way this
system could ever crash, but we were dead wrong.”
The first crash occurred two days before Thanksgiving. Several members
of the IT team were taking time off, so they immediately returned to the office
and spent the next 36 hours trying to resolve the problem. Even though they
had hardware redundant storage for the virtual server platform, the aged
storage just crashed without warning; it corrupted most of the VM data.
“We tried restoring the 30 virtual machines (VMs) supporting the PII system
from backups, but our backup software (Syncsort) failed us miserably,” he said.
“At one point we feared the system was unfixable and data was lost, which
meant 3,000 federal employees wouldn’t be getting their next paychecks.”
The IT team refused to accept defeat and continued troubleshooting.
Their only recourse was to rebuild the 30 VMs from scratch. It took several
hours, but it worked.
“We breathed a big sigh of relief, but we knew the system would crash again,
and it did—four weeks later, just before Christmas. Again, some of us were
home celebrating with our families, so we returned to the office and found
that our backup software had failed again. I told my boss I wanted to replace
it with Veeam, but he said we didn’t have the funds. That’s when I put
my career on the line.”
The Project Manager worked with Veeam Software’s federal team to create
a proof-of-concept test that overwhelmingly convinced his boss to replace
“We bet on Veeam, we won, and we’ve never looked back,” he said.
The Veeam solution
The government agency replaced legacy backup with Veeam® Backup &
Replication™ to protect all IT systems. Veeam extends data protection
to the cloud, verifies the recoverability of backups and recovers from them
minutes, not hours like legacy backup. Veeam also supports regulatory
compliance with the Privacy Act and the Federal Information Security
Management Act (FISMA).
“Veeam and Azure are core components of our DR strategy,” said the Project
Manager. “We know we can restore our systems fast in any emergency,
giving us unparalleled peace of mind.”
Veeam backs up and replicates 32 TB across 400 physical servers
and VMs from NetApp storage snapshots on-premises in a Cisco UCS
FlexPod infrastructure. Veeam also sends backup copies to Azure.
If there’s an emergency Veeam Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure lets the
IT team restore on-prem physical and virtual workloads to Azure in minutes.
“Sending backup copies to the cloud wasn’t possible before we deployed
Veeam,” the Project Manager said. “Being able to restore our entire onprem
infrastructure to Azure from backups gives us a new level of disaster
Veeam enables additional “firsts” for the agency, and they’re all because
of Veeam DataLabs™. This feature provides safe, isolated areas outside
of the production environment to verify the recoverability of backups
(SureBackup®), recover in minutes (Instant VM Recovery® and Instant File-
Level Recovery) and test, develop and troubleshoot (On-Demand Sandbox™
for Storage Snapshots).
“Veeam provides many more features than we expected in a backup
solution,” he said. “We’re really happy with its performance and trust
it to protect our IT systems.”
More than 1,200 federal agencies trust Veeam to protect their critical
systems. Veeam Software’s federal team understands and supports their
needs, requirements and procurement processes. To simplify and streamline
processes, Veeam partners with industry-leading hardware and software
companies as well as system integrators. Veeam is fully certified and
compliant to work with all agencies.
Compliance is a key requirement in government. Veeam supports agency
compliance with regulations including the Privacy Act and FISMA. Agencies
know their data is recoverable and available around the clock.
“We’re a success story because of Veeam,” he said. “I just wish we had
deployed it sooner.”
- Protects critical systems by extending data protection to the cloud
Veeam backs up and replicates physical and virtual workloads on-premises
and sends backup copies to Azure. The agency’s IT team can restore any
workload to Azure, providing a new level of disaster preparedness.
- Verifies recoverability of backups and recovers in minutes, not hours
SureBackup is a gamechanger for government agencies because
it automatically verifies the integrity of a backup and recoverability.
A similar feature called SureReplica verifies the recoverability of replicas.
- Supports compliance with regulations such as the Privacy Act and FISMA
Federal, state and local governments are held accountable for properly
handling large volumes of sensitive data. Veeam ensures the protection
of data and provides seamless audit capabilities including reporting and