The business challenge
Keio University is a leading private school and a leading force in Japanese internet
technology in recent years. Thousands of terminals are utilized on each of the
campuses, which have been constructed to meet the diverse needs of the students
and faculty who conduct active education and research activities, making full use of IT.
The Information Technology Center (ITC) manages and operates the infrastructure that
connects these different types of campuses and networks. In addition to the six major
campuses, ITC supports the operation of infrastructure in Keio’s affiliated schools and
Yasuo Miyamoto, who has been engaged in system procurement and operation at the
ITC Headquarters for several years, commented, “The important thing is to provide our
services without interruptions. To achieve that, data protection systems such as backup
and replication that can handle emergencies are indispensable.” If we cannot realize
efficient backup and quick restoration, many services including the authentication
infrastructure are likely to be affected, and the smooth running of class operations and
research activities may be disrupted. With this background, Keio University adopted
Veeam® Backup & Replication™, which provides Veeam Software’s backup and
Availability, and helped Keio University achieve operational stability for its infrastructure.
Keio University adopted virtual infrastructure with VMware in 2009 — which is two
generations older than the current system — and started to consolidate its hardware.
Backup and replication functions for disaster are essential for infrastructure, but with
the commercial solution that was adopted at the start, “It took so long that the backup
did not finish even when the date changed. As a result, we decided that this system
could not handle actual operations, and we are forced to create and operate our own
scripts using APIs.” Miyamoto recalls.
However, ITC could not afford to devote valuable labor resources to backup alone.
Against this background, Keio adopted Veeam Backup & Replication under its fouryear
The Veeam solution
Miyamoto frankly states, “When I was first introduced to Veeam Software, I had
never heard of it before, and it had a very attractive cost compared with our
previous backup solution, so I was worried about whether it would work. But, as I
heard more about it, I began to feel that it was an excellent product that we could
adopt with confidence.”
The ITC does not simply outsource everything, but it works on the concept of “doing
everything from system planning and procurement to disposal ourselves.” Since
it takes responsibility for operations, ITC’s RFPs include dozens of functions and
specifications as essential requirements. Veeam Backup & Replication cleared these
With this background, Keio University introduced Veeam Backup & Replication in
2013. Based on the good record of stable operations over the previous four years,
Keio decided to use Veeam Backup & Replication again when they replaced their
virtualization infrastructure in the summer of 2017. They are using the system as
an easily scalable Availability solution for Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI).
According to Miyamoto, “There were various other products with good functions,
but based on our review, we concluded that Veeam was the best option.”
At the time of introduction in 2017, work was supported by Kanematsu Electronics,
who had assisted Keio in constructing their disaster recovery (DR) base just before
then. Miyamoto says, “I am very satisfied that an excellent team handled the work.”
Miyamoto was highly impressed that whenever there was an issue, rather than
being told that the team would “take the issue back and consider it,” they gave
accurate information on the spot in response to every detailed question and request
regarding the settings, thanks to their high level of technical ability.
Migration work from the existing environment was realized without almost any
interruption, and the University is now using the system to back up within and
between each of its sites. Miyamoto also highly appreciates that there is excellent
compatibility with the HCI, and that “We are able to realize very efficient operations
because the scope of backup can be expanded automatically in response to scaleout.”
With the IT environment changing dramatically, the ITC Headquarters considered
alternatives such as backing up to the cloud as well as backing up to on-premises as
it had done before. In the discussion, even aggressive opinions such as, “Because
we will install HCI, we don’t need backups,” were voiced. However, “We have some
systems that will remain on-premises in some form. It is essential to protect them
and continue the services, and provide an environment that can handle unforeseen
circumstances,” says Miyamoto.
Keio University plans to gradually integrate systems that have not yet been
integrated on the virtual infrastructure renewed this time in the future, and it
plans to use Veeam Backup & Replication to protect the data. Also, the university
is looking at the trends in the entire IT industry and considering initiatives such as
linking with cloud infrastructure and replication to the cloud. In that sense, Keio is
looking forward to future developments of Veeam’s Availability solutions, which
make workload Availability possible regardless of size, virtual, physical or cloudbased
under the Veeam Hyper-Availability Platform.
- The provision of stable services to Keio University and its affiliatedschools
and satellite campuses was achieved with a Veeam Backup & Replication data
protection solution. This included services such as backup and replication, which
are essential for running of class operations and research activities smoothly.
- The Veeam Backup & Replication solution achieved backup in just a few hours
— within the 10-hour timeframe outlined in the Keio University RFP. A different
backup solution considered couldn’t complete the backup overnight.
- Compared to other solutions, the cost was reduced to less than one fifth, and
since the staff no longer needed to spend time creating original scripts, total
operating costs were drastically reduced.
- The solution is highly compatible with VMware, and Keio can restore its
system in 10 to 20 minutes and restart services using Instant VM Recovery.
The system also supports hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), and the
scope of backup can be expanded in response to infrastructure scale-out,
making efficient operations possible.