The Business Challenge
The main function of the IT team at Havas Shared Services Limited is to enable its clients (i.e., the company’s subsidiaries, which are advertising and marketing agencies) to serve global customer organizations. The team supports 800 users in the United Kingdom alone.
When the IT team embarked on a virtualisation and centralisation project, there were120 physical servers in 12 locations. The team virtualised 80% of the servers on VMware vSphere, which resulted in 120 Windows virtual machines (VMs) in two datacentres.
Team members tried to back up their VMs with the same file-level backup tool they used with their physical machines, but backups didn’t complete in the allotted timeframe and jobs often failed. When they re-ran backups the next day, users were affected by slow response times in the production environment. VM recovery and application item-level recovery were slow too, taking several hours when end users needed access to restored items in minutes.
“The problem was evident,” said John Phillips, Chief Technical Officer for Havas Shared Services Limited. “We needed to back up and restore client data faster and more reliably. We also needed a better way to monitor the virtual environment. The tool we used offered scant monitoring and no reporting. We never knew if we had over-provisioned or undersized VMs or when we would run out of resources.”
Phillips and his colleagues asked Beovax, an IT solutions and support services provider, to help them find a better solution.
“Beovax showed us Veeam® and we were blown away,” Phillips explained. “Beovax did a great job of demonstrating how Veeam could solve each of our backup and recovery challenges. We were really pleased to learn Veeam could also give us more visibility into our VMware clusters and hosts, provide optimization reports on VM provisioning and help with capacity planning. It was a no-brainer. We picked Veeam.”
Havas Shared Services Limited purchased Veeam from SHI, a worldwide reseller of software, hardware and related services.
The Veeam Solution
The IT team deployed Veeam Backup Management Suite™—a powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solution designed specifically for virtualisation that provides VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V backup, replication, monitoring and reporting.
Veeam Backup Management Suite has two components: Veeam Backup & Replication™ for fast, flexible and reliable image-based backup and recovery of the virtual infrastructure and Veeam ONE™ for real-time monitoring and alerting, capacity planning, documentation and management reporting.
“The difference between our previous backup and monitoring tools and Veeam Backup Management Suite is like chalk and cheese,” Phillips said. “Backups are quick and reliable, completing overnight and not going into the next work day. VM recovery and item-level recovery take minutes, not hours. Veeam is light-years from what we were using before.”
Phillips and his colleagues are able to recover a VM in minutes with Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery. It lets them restart a failed VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file. Instant VM Recovery is especially useful for one of the team’s database applications that has a time-to-recover service level agreement (SLA) of two days.
“We used Veeam to get that application up and running within 20 minutes, easily meeting the SLA,” Phillips said. “Instant VM Recovery is definitely one of the killer features in Veeam. The other is Virtual Lab. These are very sexy features, and since we’re creative marketing people, we like sexy.”
Virtual Lab creates isolated environments that the IT team uses for testing and troubleshooting.
“It’s so handy to be able to run tests in a Virtual Lab and know they won’t impact production,” Phillips said. “Once you use Virtual Lab and Instant VM Recovery you won’t want to use anything else. Veeam is brilliant—on features and pricing.”
Veeam Backup Management Suite is licenced per CPU socket. There are no perapplication, per-VM or per-host fees. Phillips said Veeam Backup Management Suite gives Havas Shared Services Limited an affordable way to manage VMware vSphere.
“When you’re monitoring and managing a virtual environment, there are two ways to look at data—from a novice’s viewpoint and from a highly technical viewpoint. Veeam’s monitoring and reporting are so comprehensive that everyone on our team gets what he needs, from being able to instantly spot issues and trends to analyzing data for long-term planning.”
Veeam Backup Management Suite provides real-time monitoring and virtual infrastructure analysis with visibility down to individual VMs. Monitoring dashboards offer intuitive, single-click drill-down to object details, performance data and knowledge base articles, putting all the information the IT team needs within easy reach. Predefined reports and automated reporting help the team optimise resource configuration and usage.
“One of the reports we find most useful tells us about oversized VMs,” Phillips said. “One report told us we could regain 300 gig of memory across the infrastructure, which was incredibly helpful for us.”
Phillips and his colleagues also like Veeam’s customer support.
“We deal with a lot of support organisations,” he explained. “Veeam engineers truly own an incident and spend whatever time is required to fix it. They make sure we’re satisfied with the information provided.”
Powerful features enable fast, reliable VM backup and recovery
Veeam Backup Management Suite has several features that help the IT team at Havas Shared Services Limited back up and recover client data faster and more reliably. Built-in data deduplication and compression make VM backup faster; Instant VM Recovery lets team members recover a VM in minutes rather than hours; and Virtual Lab provides an isolated environment for them to run tests that don’t impact the production environment.
Affordable solution addresses the most important needs in the virtual environment
Veeam Backup Management Suite combines Veeam Backup & Replication with the built-in intelligence and powerful capabilities of Veeam ONE for a comprehensive data protection and virtualization management solution for VMware and Hyper-V.
Easy-to-use monitoring and reporting for fast detection of issues and indepth
Comprehensive monitoring, performance analysis, alerting and reporting capabilities help the IT team optimise its virtual environment now and for the future.