The Business Challenge
During its long history, Roswell Park Cancer Institute has maintained an exemplary leadership role in setting national standards for cancer care, research and education.
Since 2003, Roswell Park has undergone major growth, adding new jobs and initiating one of the nation’s first hospital facilities dedicated to Phase 1 cancer research studies.
Roswell Park is a growing enterprise that needed an enterprise-level backup and recovery solution for its 450+ VMware vSphere virtual machines (VMs) that run mission-critical applications, such as an electronic medical records database and Microsoft Exchange.
Roswell Park’s IT team tried several backup tools but experienced multiple challenges. According to Nick Vega, Network System Specialist at Roswell Park, backups were slow. All VMs could not be backed up within the backup window and backups often failed and could not be recovered. The backup process became more time-consuming and cumbersome as the number of VMs increased, and backups were consuming a tremendous amount of storage. One backup tool continually required additional storage appliances because only 2 TB of backups could be stored per appliance.
“The backup tools we tried using were industry leaders but were definitely not enterprise solutions,” Vega said. “We required fast, reliable and scalable backup and recovery. If any one of our critical systems fails, our business stops; plus we must be able to prove we can quickly restore backups for HIPAA and other regulatory requirements.”
The Veeam Solution
The IT team chose Veeam Backup Management Suite™—a powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solution designed specifically for virtualization 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 backup and recovery and Veeam ONE™ for real-time monitoring and alerting, capacity planning, documentation and management reporting.
“We initially focused on Veeam Backup & Replication only, but we found we could purchase the entire management suite for 40% less than we paid just for licenses for one of the backup tools,” Vega said. “Then we found Veeam’s technical support to be 50% to 60% less expensive than vendor support for the other backup tools. We discovered first-hand that technical support from Veeam Software is truly 100% better than any other vendor we’ve used for backup or any product.”
With Veeam Backup & Replication, Roswell Park’s IT team can back up all VMs during the backup window. This is especially important as the number of VMs increases. Since backup with Veeam is faster, the team backs up more frequently, which provides more restore points. What amazed the team most was the amount of backup storage space saved with Veeam.
“We back up our VMs to an HP StoreOnce appliance,” Vega explained. “Both Veeam and HP StoreOnce have built-in deduplication and compression, so the 85 TB we had on HP StoreOnce in conjunction with a previous backup tool were compressed to 15 TB when we combined HP StoreOnce with Veeam. Now we can store more backups onsite, and the more backups we keep onsite, the faster we can restore, which helps our business. The backup storage savings was huge for us. It enabled us to regain production storage to use for actual production needs, and it saved us from purchasing additional onsite storage.”
Team members plan to use Veeam Backup & Replication with their production storage appliance.
“We’ll implement an application that requires a bunch of clustered Windows Servers, but they’re in VMware,” Vega said. “In order to back up and protect the VM that runs the app, we must minimize the stun caused by traditional snapshots. We’re going to use Veeam in conjunction with HP 3PAR StoreServ to take more efficient, less intrusive snapshots. Another advantage is that backup of that VM will be even faster.”
Veeam Backup & Replication also recovers VMs much faster than the previous backup tools, which helps Roswell Park comply with HIPAA and other regulatory requirements. To restore a specific VM, one backup tool took two hours; Veeam took 14 minutes. Restoring individual items is also fast and easy with Veeam. Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange is one of the team’s favorite capabilities. It provides instant visibility into Exchange backups. Team members can browse, search and selectively export emails, notes, contacts, etc.
“Being able to restore a whole mailbox or single email like it was never missing is incredible,” Vega said. “We really appreciate Veeam’s recovery capabilities when we’re trying to restore a file or item during an HIPAA audit or for a critical business need.”
Veeam ONE is the other component in Veeam Backup Management Suite. Veeam ONE offers comprehensive monitoring, performance analysis, capacity planning, alerting and reporting capabilities that help team members proactively resolve issues and optimize their virtual environment.
For example, Veeam’s predefined reports improve resource configuration and usage by alerting users to issues they weren’t aware of before Veeam ONE was installed, such as memory pressure. What Vega likes best about Veeam ONE is that it provides more than just alerts; there’s also a knowledge base that includes details about the cause and the resolution. This helps the team be proactive. Knowing what an alert signifies and how to fix it is a time-saver.
“We have four virtualized domain controllers,” Vega said. “As part of our DR strategy, two of the controllers are on dedicated hosts outside of the backup infrastructure. With Veeam ONE, we’re able to look at the entire virtual environment under a single pane of glass, and we’re given capabilities for efficient and effective virtualization management. Veeam ONE turned out to be a bonus for us—a huge bonus.”
Fast, reliable recovery helps Roswell Park comply with HIPAA and other
Veeam Backup & Replication has capabilities that help Vega and the IT team abide by HIPAA guidelines. SureBackup® verifies the recoverability of every backup and Instant VM Recovery lets team members recover a VM in minutes rather than hours. They simply start a failed VM from a backup.
Veeam functionality and HP StoreOnce save money and backup storage space
Veeam Backup Management Suite was 40% less expensive than what Roswell Park spent on licenses alone for one of its backup tools. Veeam is licensed per CPU socket, and there are no agents to license, deploy, manage or monitor.
Vega also found Veeam Software’s technical support to be up to 60% less expensive than other vendors. In addition, backup storage costs decreased because Roswell Park used its HP StoreOnce appliance in conjunction with Veeam Backup & Replication, deduplicating and compressing data from 85 TB to 15 TB.
Monitoring and reporting help IT team detect and resolve issues faster
Veeam ONE provides comprehensive monitoring, performance analysis, alerting and reporting capabilities so users can find and fix issues faster, as well as optimize their virtual environment.