After extensive market research, the IT team at LMU Klinikum decided to use Veeam Availability Suite as the backup solution for their VMware vSphere environment and as part of their physical-server infrastructure. All virtual machines and around 30 physical systems are now backed up with Veeam — a total data volume of around 400TB.
During each backup process, two backups are created and stored on separate storage systems from NetApp and Hitachi. In addition, the IT team has implemented a tape infrastructure to back up all data offline. This protects the data from manipulation, such as encryption by crypto Trojans.
"Veeam offers us a variety of powerful technologies to help us get a handle on the increased demands of data protection," Graf said. "In particular, I would highlight SureBackup technology. It allows us to run automated recovery tests without impacting the performance of our production environment."
SureBackup uses a virtual lab environment to check whether the backed-up virtual machines can be restored after a failure and performs a series of standardized tests for this purpose. The results can then be exported to PDF reports.
"With the previous backup solution, performing these recovery tests was extremely time consuming, which meant that we could only check the executability of the backed-up systems on occasion,” said Leutner. “Today, we test all servers multiple times a year and always have up-to-date and complete documentation for internal or external audits.”
A second decisive point in the decision for Veeam was the solution’s intuitive operation. While the previous backup software could only be used by specialists with the appropriate training, the IT team did not need a long training period for the new solution.
"We once had a situation where a colleague on call had to restore a virtual machine outside of normal working hours,” said Graf. “Although he had never worked with Veeam before, the restore went smoothly — that says everything about how easy Veeam is to use.”
Granular restores of individual application objects are also possible with Veeam. The clinic’s IT department has various Veeam Explorers available for this purpose — including for Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Active Directory and SQL Server. In practice, these tools have already proven themselves several times.
"We recently had to reset an SQL database for our token system," said Leutner, citing one example. "After changing an administrator password, remote access to our IT environment was no longer possible across the board. With Veeam Explorer, we were able to use point-in-time recovery to restore the SQL database to its status before the change — and after just 10 minutes, everything was back to normal."
In addition to Veeam's backup and recovery functions, LMU Klinikum now also uses the Veeam ONE monitoring solution, which is a component of the Veeam Availability Suite.
"We were looking for a solution that was as simple as possible, specifically to permanently monitor the utilization and availability of our virtual servers,” said Graf. “Veeam ONE appealed to us much more than the monitoring solution from our virtualization provider."
For example, the IT team can easily set up an alert for any service with a single click and is automatically notified when the CPU load reaches a certain threshold.
"We can recognize very quickly when the performance of critical applications, such as the hospital information system, deteriorates and immediately take corresponding measures," said Leutner. "That way, we ensure that our doctors and nurses do not suffer from slow applications during their work. Moreover, conspicuous CPU values or data streams can always be an indication of suspicious activity in the network. Veeam ONE helps us detect threats such as ransomware at an early stage and render them harmless."