The Business Challenge
World Vision has more than 46,000 staff in 105 countries helping millions of people. If
staff members don’t have round-the-clock access to the global applications and data that
support World Vision’s 2,500 programs, their work and the people they serve may suffer.
World Vision’s programs are grouped into three areas: short-term emergency relief
(food, shelter and medical care during a disaster), long-term sustainable community
development (clean water, education, health care, agricultural improvements and
sanitation) and advocacy of policy-making on the national, regional and international
levels (public awareness of poverty and the unjust systems that perpetuate it).
World Vision’s global data centre, located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, supports all
locations and programs worldwide, with 85% of its IT Infrastructure being virtualised on
VMware vSphere. Thirty ESX physical machines host 500 virtual machines (VMs) that run
systems to support all global programs including child sponsorship, community projects,
communication, collaboration, finances, CRM and email.
“We use IT to enable our organisation,” said Nick Goh, IT Director of Global Infrastructure
at World Vision. “IT supports our programs and provides accountability for our work, such
as building wells to deliver clean water. A community project like that is made possible by
government funds and donors, and we are held accountable for those funds. We also track
the well-being of children for 15 years following their sponsorship. If we lose that data, we
lose accountability to our sponsors.”
World Vision cannot risk data loss or the availability of its data and applications.
Performance of its legacy backup tool was one of the key drivers in the IT team’s decision
to seek out a new VM backup solution. With the legacy tool, backup was extremely slow
and unpredictable, taking up to 24 hours to back up all VMs. The tool also made it difficult
for the IT team to meet recovery time objectives (RTOs) and service level agreements
(SLAs) because restoring a full VM took up to 90 minutes.
“The legacy backup tool was traditional in nature, so it lacked recovery features that
capitalised on virtualisation like granular recovery and automated recovery verification,”
said Kenneth Seow, IT Manager, World Vision. “We needed a faster, more stable backup
solution that offered advanced recovery features and made efficient use of backup
storage. We narrowed our choices to two solutions, but only one offered the performance
and availability we needed.”
The Veeam Solution
World Vision deployed Veeam® Backup & Replication™ to give staff members
24x7x365 access to applications and data that help them serve the world’s most
vulnerable people. Seow said Veeam met two of World Vision’s most significant IT
needs: reduced risk of data loss and improved availability.
“Veeam helps reduce risk by providing much quicker backup than our legacy tool,”
Seow explained. “Our backup window decreased by 63% with Veeam—from 24
hours to 9 hours. Faster backup lets us back up more frequently, allowing us to add
30% more backups for more recovery points. Veeam backup is stable too. The legacy
backup tool was unpredictable, causing us to miss backups whenever it exceeded
the allowable backup window.”
World Vision uses Veeam to make backups from NetApp storage as often as needed.
Veeam’s integration with NetApp’s Snapshot technology creates application-consistent
backups of 5 terabytes (TB) of data daily, with little to no impact on
the production environment. Using Veeam with NetApp also results in better
deduplication results compared to using the legacy backup tool with NetApp, saving
World Vision 30% in backup storage space.
Goh said that in addition to helping World Vision reduce its risk of data loss, Veeam
helps improve availability by decreasing recovery time by 95%—from 90 minutes to
fewer than five minutes.
“Veeam allows us to quickly perform whole VM or granular recovery, which gives us
the ability to ensure that if data was accidently deleted, it can be brought up quickly,”
World Vision uses Veeam Explorer™ for Active Directory to recover objects accidently
deleted by users. And like many Veeam customers, one of World Vision’s favourite
recovery features is Instant VM Recovery® because it quickly restarts a failed VM from
a regular backup.
“Our goal is to make sure our staff has access to everything they need whenever they
need it,” Goh said. “When some of them complained that one of the systems they
were using wasn’t stable, we identified the reason: It was a software patch that had
been deployed the week before. The quickest way to bring up the system without
impacting staff was to initiate Instant VM Recovery so they could continue to work
while we solved the patch problem. Overall, Veeam has reduced our downtime by
Seow said Veeam is also flexible. World Vision uses SureBackup to verify the
recoverability of backups through automated testing and On-Demand Sandbox™
to isolate VMs from the production environment in a Virtual Lab for testing and
troubleshooting. He said if a company has invested in virtualisation, choosing the
best backup software is one of the most important decisions.
“Make sure the solution was built for virtualisation—Veeam is the perfect example,”
Seow explained. “Veeam provides the best feature set and performance for high
“From a management perspective, Veeam decreases our backup time and increases
availability and performance to improve the user experience. High availability
enables our staff and our endeavors … to have more children under our care, to track
our programs and to provide accountability for our work.”
Veeam Backup & Replication delivers consistent high availability to World Vision,
giving staff members 24x7x365 access to everything they need whenever they
need it so they can help those in need. High availability enables them to remain
accountable to the people and communities they serve and to the funding
sources that make World Vision’s programs possible.
World Vision makes fast, application-consistent backups from NetApp storage
snapshots with practically no impact on production. Fast backup shortened
the backup window by 63% (from 24 hours to 9 hours) and enabled 30% more
backups. Built-in deduplication and compression in Veeam and NetApp ensure
backup targets are used efficiently by reducing storage requirements by 30%.
The flexibility of Veeam’s Virtual Lab allows World Vision to take advantage
of features like On-Demand Sandbox to isolate VMs from the production
environment for testing and SureBackup® to verify the recoverability of every
World Vision’s IT team uses Veeam’s high-speed recovery features to decrease
restore time by 95% and downtime by 60%. For example, Instant VM Recovery
lets team members immediately restore a VM to their production environment
by running it directly from a backup file. Instant VM Recovery helps them
improve RTOs and minimize disruption to users. Users remain productive while
team members troubleshoot an issue with the failed VM.