The Business Challenge
Allied Mineral Products, Inc. expected its backup solution to perform as advertised. Unfortunately, the vendor consistently underperformed and Allied had to look at other options.
“Choosing data protection from a backup vendor you’ve trusted for years should be a no-brainer, but the backup tool we chose was ineffective, a let-down,” said Bart Brinkman, Network Administrator for Allied Mineral Products, Inc. “I spent a large part of my work day trouble shooting backup jobs, figuring out why they had failed and going through logs that collected nothing helpful. We had absolutely no confidence in our backups, let alone our ability to recover them.”
Brinkman said the backup tool had two fateful flaws: It was originally designed for physical servers but had been “tweaked” to accommodate virtual servers, and it didn’t support the current hypervisor release. “The vendor advertised about integration with VMware but didn’t support the most recent version of vSphere, which had been out for more than a year,” Brinkman explained. “A backup vendor shouldn’t be the one holding you back from getting the most out of virtualization, but ours was.”
Allied contacted PC Mall, Inc. (PCM), a leading technology solutions provider, for advice. PCM had made hardware recommendations for Allied’s data center in the past and is very familiar with the company’s IT environment and needs. PCM recommended Veeam® Backup & Replication™.
“The beauty with Veeam is that you install it and it works instantly,” said Derek Novara, Senior Account Executive for PCM, Inc. “Our customers are extremely busy and don’t have time to troubleshoot failed backups. Backups need to work the first time and every time after that. Our customers have tremendous success with Veeam and absolutely love it. We knew Veeam would work well for Allied.”
The Veeam Solution
Veeam Backup & Replication provides powerful, easy-to-use and affordable backup, recovery and replication for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. Veeam backs up virtual machines (VMs) locally at Allied’s data center for fast recovery, copies backups to tape at the disaster recovery (DR) site for long-term storage and replicates VMs between the two sites for fast failover and failback.
Allied’s data center supports manufacturing facilities and company offices worldwide. Nearly every application in the data center is virtualized, including enterprise resource planning software, Lotus Notes, active directory and file servers.
“Veeam is the standard for VM backup and recovery,” Brinkman said. “Veeam delivers exactly what is described on its website and everything our Veeam sales representative said it would. Veeam pushes us forward. Veeam announces support for the next version of vSphere before I have the chance to download the hypervisor.”
Brinkman cited several benefits to using Veeam Backup & Replication. First, it’s designed specifically for virtualization and not retrofitted to support VMs like Allied’s previous backup tool. Second, Veeam is agentless. The previous backup tool required expensive agents in each VM to be backed up, and Brinkman felt the agents played a role in slow, unreliable backups.
Veeam is also fast. Backup with Veeam is approximately 70% faster than Allied’s previous tool, and recovery of entire VMs, files and application items takes minutes with Veeam rather than hours with the previous tool.
“With Veeam I can instantly spin up a VM from a backup and restore whatever is needed,” Brinkman said. “I can also fail over to a replicated VM at our DR site and fail back to our data center faster than it would take to declare a disaster.”
Veeam is reliable too. Automatic recovery verification ensures virtualized data and applications can be restored from every VM every time. And, Veeam is flexible. Veeam copies backups to tape for archival, letting Allied take advantage of its tape library, and Veeam provides built-in WAN Acceleration to transport backup copy jobs faster.
Allied also relies on Veeam to set up isolated environments for testing software updates on VMs—with no risk to production. Brinkman said this is a great way to test patches that are no longer supported by vendors. He asks the application user to connect to the VM and make sure the update went smoothly before moving the patch into production.
“There’s one more thing I really like about Veeam,” Brinkman said. “Veeam support is available in several forms, including the Community Forums Digest . Of all the vendor emails I receive, Veeam’s is only one I haven’t unsubscribed from because it focuses on solving real-world issues. I also like Veeam’s technical support team; they’ve never failed me.”
Delivers fast, reliable backup and recovery
Veeam Backup & Replication was designed specifically for virtualization. It is agentless, storage-agnostic and provides high-speed backup and recovery for Allied. With Veeam, Allied doesn’t have to worry about failed backups, slow, complicated recovery or its nightly backup window impacting production the next day.
Verifies the recoverability of every backup every time
Veeam Backup & Replication automatically tests backups by running VMs from them in an isolated environment called Virtual Lab. With Veeam, Allied has full confidence in its ability to recover whole VMs, files and application items in minutes, not hours like the previous backup tool required. Allied also uses Virtual Lab to test software updates and patches before moving them into production.
Supports new hypervisor releases before other backup solutions
Veeam Backup & Replication is repeatedly the first data protection solution to support the newest hypervisor releases from VMware and Microsoft. Before Veeam, Allied used a backup tool that didn’t support a recent version of vSphere for more than a year.