The Business Challenge
Early in the virtualization process at Sunrise Communications AG, the IT team recognized the need for scalable and reliable solutions to back up and monitor their virtual environment. The number of virtual machines (VMs) was growing quickly, and the backup process had become quite lengthy, taking 36 hours for a full backup and up to 40 minutes per VM for incremental backups.
“The backup solution we used at the time didn’t offer efficient incremental backups,” said Yvan Comte, Technical Lead for virtualization initiatives at Sunrise. “With our previous solution, we had to perform two full backups each week, but that took a very long time and didn’t comply with our company’s disaster recovery policy: every VM must be backed up every day. Our former solution also didn’t offer quick VM recovery or fast file-level restore. Quick VM recovery, in particular, is a top priority for us.”
The IT team also needed a VMware monitoring solution. “We used to rely on agents for monitoring, but that was rudimentary at best,” Comte continued. “While we wanted a more comprehensive monitoring solution for our virtual environment, we didn’t want to learn and maintain a new framework. We already used Microsoft System Center Operations Manager to manage the physical environment, so we thought it would be ideal to look at both the physical and virtual worlds from the same console.”
The Veeam Solution
The IT team chose two Veeam solutions for Sunrise’s expanding VMware vSphere environment.
VMware Backup and Recovery
Veeam Backup & Replication™ provides fast, flexible and reliable backup and recovery of virtualized applications and data. It enables Sunrise’s IT team to recover an entire VM, individual object or file from any virtualized application or file system quickly, all from the same image-level backup.
“Backups are so much faster with Veeam,” Comte said. “Full backups used to take 36 hours with our previous backup solution; they take eight hours with Veeam. Incremental backups used to take up to 40 minutes per VM; now they take less than 5 minutes per VM with Veeam. We can back up every VM every day and comply with company policy.”
A full VM restore is also faster with Veeam. vPower™, the technology in Veeam Backup & Replication that lets administrators run a VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file on regular backup storage, enables Instant VM Recovery. With Instant VM Recovery, Sunrise’s IT team doesn’t have to extract the backup and copy it to production storage. Rather, team members start the VM directly from the backup in minutes.
“Before we began using Veeam, restoring a VM could take up to 90 minutes,” Comte said. “With Veeam, it takes 15 minutes. That is a big timesaver.”
Members of Sunrise’s IT team also use Veeam’s Instant File-Level Recovery to restore individual files from backups or replicas to the latest state or to any point in time. “We use this most for Windows and Linux files, and it’s so quick,” Comte continued. “Veeam saves us nearly three administrative hours every week.”
VMware Monitoring and Management
Sunrise also deployed the Veeam Management Pack™ (MP) for VMware because it met the IT team’s criteria: agentless, easy-to-deploy, scalable VMware monitoring in Microsoft System Center.
The nworks MP provides the Sunrise IT team with a full, transparent view of the company’s virtual and physical environments within the Operations Manager console. It enables all Operations Manager functionality for all VMware components including a detailed health model with hundreds of metrics and events. It also supports large, fast-growing vSphere environments, like Sunrise’s.
“The nworks MP is a simple yet strong monitoring solution, and it integrates nicely with System Center Operations Manager. Comte said. “We didn’t want a new monitoring system and console, and we certainly didn’t want to spend a lot of time learning a new process. The nworks MP is easy to use, and now we see our whole IT infrastructure. If something goes wrong in the virtual environment, designated team members fix it before it becomes a problem and affects our business.”
Backup speeds are up to 8X faster; every VM is backed up every day
Backups are much faster at Sunrise Communications because Veeam Backup & Replication leverages the changed block tracking feature in VMware vSphere for lightening-fast incremental backups. For example, if a VM changed 5 percent since the last backup, the incremental backup time would be 20 times faster.
VM recovery and file-level restore are 6X faster
Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery lets Sunrise’s IT team start the VM from a compressed and deduplicated backup file in minutes, and Veeam’s Instant File-Level Recovery lets the team restore individual files from any file and operating system. Recovering a VM and restoring files took up to 90 minutes before Veeam. With Veeam, it takes 15 minutes.
VMware vSphere monitoring in Microsoft System Center is easy and seamless
Now Sunrise manages its physical and virtual environments using Microsoft System Center. With the nworks MP, the IT team now has complete visibility and seamless management of the entire infrastructure using the Operations Manager console.