The IT team for Garanti Bank oversees two data centers at its company headquarters in Istanbul, and an additional off-site disaster recovery center approximately 600 kilometers away. The team supports 910 branch offices, 3200 ATMs and more than 17000 employees who regularly access applications that support day-to-day operations and communications.
The IT team began moving to virtualization in 2006, and today approximately 80 percent of the bank’s main data centers are virtualized. The virtual environment includes three virtual centers in each of the data centers, with 34 VMware ESX hosts and 750 virtual machines (VMs) that run mission-critical applications such as Microsoft Exchange, ERP and CRM applications, as well as Microsoft SQL Server databases.
“When we began the virtualization project, we immediately recognized that the tools we were using to monitor and back up the physical environment were not sufficient, and we needed solutions that were built for the virtual environment,” said Ilkay Aygun, Senior Systems Support Specialist for Garanti Bank. “We first satisfied our number one priority of putting a consistent, reliable backup tool in place, and then looked for better reporting and monitoring capabilities. Veeam delivered.”
Garanti Bank’s IT team evaluated several backup products, doing side-by-side comparisons of performance and functionality. Veeam Backup & Replication™ was the hands-down favorite, and was implemented in 2009. Nine months later, Veeam ONE™ was selected as the best solution for virtualization management. “We verified that Veeam would allow us to deploy, manage and protect our virtual environment far better than any other solution we evaluated,” said Aygun.
The IT team chose Veeam Backup & Replication because it is built specifically for the virtual environment and is easy to install and deploy. Since installing the Veeam solution, backup speed has significantly improved, and disk storage requirements have been reduced. “Backups that used to take eight hours or more are now completed in three hours,” said Aygun. ”File-level recovery takes only minutes. And since Veeam deduplicates data at the image-level, disk space requirements for backups are reduced as well.”
Instant VM Recovery is one of the capabilities of Veeam Backup & Replication that the IT team finds particularly valuable. The team can run a VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file, eliminating the need to extract the backup and copy it to production storage. “In a matter of minutes, we can quickly restore an entire VM,” said Aygun.
With the success of Veeam Backup & Replication, the Garanti Bank IT team looked to Veeam to address their virtualization management challenges. They learned that Veeam ONE is a powerful integrated solution for real-time monitoring, change tracking and documentation, and they readily appreciated the benefits of the built-in intelligence in features like pre-defined alarms, an extensive knowledge base, and resource provisioning recommendations.
Veeam ONE offers a comprehensive view of the entire virtual infrastructure for real-time monitoring of performance, events, and utilization of virtualization resources. With Veeam ONE in place, the IT team can identify and react to issues quickly. “We are definitely enthusiastic about the monitoring capabilities we have with Veeam,” Aygun said. “We find the performance analysis especially valuable, as it helps us be proactive in identifying and resolving problems.”
Veeam ONE automatically discovers, documents and analyzes the entire virtual infrastructure, and maintains a complete history of all objects, settings and changes. It includes a web-based dashboard that can be customized to include the specific information users need. “We were thrilled when we discovered that Veeam ONE collects information regularly and updates reports automatically, as we did not have this capability before,” explained Aygun. “We use these reports to document and track changes, and to pin-point how we are utilizing our resources. Having accurate and timely information on hand is critical to managing and controlling our virtual environment.”
Fast, reliable backups and instant recovery to ensure RTOs and RPOs
Veeam Backup & Replication delivers fast and reliable data protection, reduces the backup time from eight hours to three, and recovers files in minutes. Disk space requirements are reduced as well, since Veeam deduplicates data at the image-level. The Instant VM Recovery capability in Veeam Backup & Replication lets Garanti Bank’s IT team quickly restore an entire machine from a backup by running the VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file.
Automatic notification and quick problem resolution with 24/7 monitoring and a built-in knowledge base
Veeam ONE provides a comprehensive view of the entire virtual infrastructure and 24/7 monitoring and alerting capabilities, offering both at-a-glance visibility and drill-down for ensuring the availability and performance of virtualized applications and workloads. With Veeam ONE, the IT team stays on top of managing the virtual infrastructure with monitoring and analysis that lets them assess performance, be alerted to problems, and quickly identify root cause and resolution.
Comprehensive documentation and change tracking to safeguard the virtual environment
Garanti Bank had no automated reporting capabilities before installing Veeam ONE. Now the entire virtual infrastructure is easily documented through reports that are automatically generated by Veeam ONE. Garanti Bank also now has a comprehensive history of all objects, settings and changes as well, giving them a complete understanding of the structure and state of the virtual environment.