The Business Challenge
Transform Cosmetic Surgery has more than 250,000 patients and 10 TB of data that grows by 5% each year. Data includes health care records and 750,000 highresolution images of patients before and after surgical or non-surgical intervention.>
In 2013, government in the UK initiated plans to regulate data retention in the private sector of the cosmetic surgery market following a global health scare caused by PIP implants.
As one of the UK’s leading and long-established cosmetic surgery providers, Transform already had a secure, seven-year data retention plan in place, but the company’s IT team wanted to be fully prepared in case the retention period increased. Retention periods could range from 21 years to the life of the patient.
The company’s IT team is relatively small and operates under the assumption that any solution implemented must be full-featured, easy-to-use and cost-effective. That’s why team members chose Veeam® Backup & Replication™ to protect their virtualised data and applications. Veeam backs up their VMware vSphere virtual machines (VMs) at each data centre locally for fast recovery and replicates VMs between data centres for disaster recovery (DR). Veeam is hardware-agnostic, so it doesn’t matter what hardware is used at either data centre.
In anticipation of new data retention standards, Transform needed highperformance, efficient and scalable storage.
“We specifically needed flexible storage options for our different workloads,” said Nick Furnell, Senior Systems Engineer for Transform. “We didn’t know what our long-term archiving requirements would be, but we did know that our new storage solution would have to work effortlessly with Veeam.”
The Veeam Solution
Transform chose Nimble Storage. The combination of Veeam Backup & Replication and Nimble CS-Series arrays provides powerful, easy-to-use, scalable and affordable data protection and storage.
“It is amazing how well Veeam and Nimble Storage work together,” Furnell said. “From an administrator’s point of view, every process is simple and straightforward. From a business point of view, we’re fully confident we can recover all the data we back up and store, and we’re fully prepared to comply with pending data retention requirements.” When Transform combined Veeam deduplication and Nimble’s compression, backed up data decreased by 46%. For example, 2.1 TB of backup data consumes fewer than 1.5 TB of backup storage.
“Fine-tuning storage volume is a powerful feature for us, and not only for backups,” Furnell said. “We review each of the services we deliver to employees, such as email, file, print and high-resolution images. By analyzing traffic and how information is accessed, we migrate data to individual volumes, each with specific performance profiles. I don’t have to worry about live data overrunning backup data. There’s no risk to data retention and I know our data is quickly recoverable. I can restore data from Nimble storage snapshots or use Veeam’s recovery features to restore entire VMs, files and application items from a backup in production storage.”
When the VM running part of the company’s customer relationship management system failed, Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery® restored the VM from the most recent backup in minutes. If an employee accidentally deletes a file, 1-Click Restore recovers that file directly from a backup. Veeam’s web-based interface called Enterprise Manager lets the IT team view the entire backup infrastructure, search for the file and restore it to the original location or send it to the employee. Recovery is fast with Veeam, and so is backup.
“Veeam backup is phenomenally fast compared to traditional backup,” Furnell said. “With Veeam we back up 1.5 TB of data in two hours, which used to take 12 hours with our traditional backup tool. And with Veeam, I’m not only backing up data, I’m also backing up applications and operating systems. With the traditional backup tool, I could only back up data.”
In addition to being slow, the traditional backup tool required expensive agents. Transform used the tool to copy VM backups to tape—at a cost of $15,000(USD) per year in licensing fees. Since Veeam is agentless and supports standalone tape drives (as well as tape libraries and virtual tape libraries), Transform removed the traditional backup tool from the virtual environment and saved money.
“We also save time and effort with Veeam,” Furnell said. “By combining Veeam with the massive flexibility and scalability in Nimble, we’ve set ourselves up for clear-cut compliance with pending data retention regulations. Choosing Veeam and Nimble Storage was the best choice for us.”
High-performance storage combined with reliable data protection
Nimble CS-Series arrays integrate flash memory with high-capacity disk drives, and Veeam Backup & Replication provides fast recovery for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. The combination of Veeam and Nimble enables Transform to protect its vSphere environment and comply with pending industry regulatory requirements.
Fast, flexible recovery for VMs, files and application items
Transform has many recovery options with Nimble and Veeam. Nimble snapshots are kept for several months on storage arrays for quick recovery, and Veeam backups are kept for longer periods on production storage for granular recovery. Veeam also copies backups to tape, disk or cloud for offsite archival.
Faster backup, substantial savings and reduced storage requirements
Veeam Backup & Replication increased backup speed by 83% at Transform Medical Group. What used to take 12 hours to back up with a traditional back up tool now takes two hours with Veeam. Instead of using that tool to copy backups to tape, Transform uses Veeam and saves $15,000(USD) per year in agent licensing fees. By combining Veeam deduplication and Nimble compression, the company also reduced backed up data by 46%.