The business challenge
Over the last decade, due to the discovery of large quantities of natural gas,
Israel has undergone a gas revolution, transforming from a net importer
of fossil fuels to being self-sufficient, with natural gas now providing 65%
of the country’s electricity needs. At the helm of this revolution has been
Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources which
employs prudent strategic, economic and technical planning to effectively
manage natural resources and promote sustainable growth of the sector.
With research activities and cooperation with other ministries and regulatory
bodies, international organizations and academia being central to the
ministry’s operations, IT is a fundamental business enabler.
“We are an organization of over 450 employees and IT is critical to
empowering each of them to carry out their daily work. Availability is
paramount and any downtime would result in an immediate impact on
productivity and the services and support we deliver to other entities and
organizations,” said Nir Zentner, CIO, Ministry of National Infrastructure,
Energy and Water Resources.
Moreover, as a government entity, the ministry must strictly adhere to
regulations. Among these government mandates is the need to ensure
that all applications and data are reliably backed up and protected against
downtime and unforeseen circumstances.
The Veeam solution
“We did a comparative analysis between Veeam and a global competitor that
also has a pronounced presence in the Middle East,” said Ilan Lugasi, CTO
of the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources.
“But, we found considerable differences in ease of use as the latter was
extremely complicated. Veeam on the other hand was very intuitive and
user friendly, something that our admins appreciate on a daily basis.
We therefore went with Veeam from the very beginning.”
As the ministry’s IT requirements have evolved over the years, the IT team has
been able to effectively adapt their usage of Veeam Backup & Replication and
Veeam Management Pack.
“Initially, we were using Veeam to back up our on-premises servers and
export data to tape,” Naor Brig, Systems Administrator, Ministry of National
Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources said.
But as new government regulations called for the ministry to establish a
disaster recovery (DR) center, the IT team found that the solution’s flexibility
enabled them to easily accommodate this use case as well.
“Today, we rely on Veeam to back up over 60 terabytes of data per day and
replicate over 50 terabytes daily,” Brig said.
Similarly, over the years, the ministry has steadily increased the extent
of virtualization of its environment with confidence in the Veeam solution’s
ability to effectively manage virtual workloads.
“90% of our environment is now virtual and this of course has helped
us control our energy footprint, optimize operational expenses and scale
operations without need for ongoing hardware investments,” said Lugasi.
Today, all the ministry’s applications, including Microsoft Exchange,
SharePoint and SQL Server, are backed up using Veeam Backup & Replication.
“Two weeks ago, an employee mistakenly erased a list on our SharePoint
server,” said Lugasi.
While Microsoft advised his team that only a database restore would be
possible, Lugasi and Brig knew they could count on Veeam’s applicationaware
“With Veeam, we were able to restore just the list back to SharePoint which
worked perfectly and helped mitigate a potentially disastrous situation,”
Lugasi said. “This incident made key stakeholders in our organization realize
the power and value of Veeam.”
The power and ease of use of Veeam’s solutions enable the ministry’s IT
team to confidently and consistently manage backups and the availability
of applications and data with little oversight.
“Once the solution is configured, it just works,” said Brig. “This is extremely
beneficial, especially from a reporting and regulatory perspective.”
Using Veeam Management Pack, the IT team can monitor and manage the
entire virtual environment via the single “morning coffee” dashboard.
As a result, the IT team collectively spends no more than four hours a week
on tasks related to the Veeam solution.
“When required, Veeam gives us the ability to restore everything in just a
few clicks. Everything is perfect and that’s high-value for me and my team
as it gives us the time for everything else,” Lugasi said.
“Data is the new oil, and we are offering this valuable resource to
international organizations as a means to attract foreign investment,”
Zentner said. “The vast amounts of data that we have collected from
geological surveys are highly desirable to large scale drilling companies that
are keen to set up facilities based on the detailed information we are able
to provide them with.”
The ministry now intends to build on its ongoing success with Veeam over
the next year and plans to enhance business continuity by operating its
primary data center and DR site in active-active mode.
“Veeam’s solution has consistently proved its value by enabling us to
constantly adapt and scale our deployment in line with new requirements
and our evolving IT strategy,” said Zentner.
“We have a strong relationship with Veeam and receive exceptional service
from both the sales, technical and support teams,” said Zentner. “In my
position, I typically speak directly with the CEOs and CTOs of the technology
providers we work with, but with Veeam, we do not require this as our local
team itself is deeply committed to ensuring we are completely satisfied
with our deployment.”
- Addressed business continuity and helped achieve regulatory compliance
As a government entity, the ministry must ensure that all applications and
data are reliably backed up and protected against downtime and data loss.
Using Veeam Backup & Replication, the ministry backs up 60 TB of data
per day and replicates over 50 TB daily. In line with evolving regulations,
the ministry has extended the capabilities of its Veeam solution to enable
the backup of data and applications to its dedicated DR site.
- Provides reliable backup and rapid restoration of mission-critical applications
All the ministry’s mission-critical applications including Microsoft
Exchange, SharePoint and the SQL Server and are now backed up by the
Veeam solution which ensures their availability. When required, the IT
team can now restore at a file level, thanks to Veeam’s application-aware
processing functionality, a feature that enabled the team to rapidly
remedy a potentially disastrous situation when an employee mistakenly
deleted a SharePoint list.
- Requires minimal oversight, enabling IT team to focus on high-value initiatives
With its convenient morning coffee dashboard, Veeam’s solution
enables the ministry’s IT team to monitor and manage the entire virtual
environment from a single pane of glass.
“We can restore anything in just a few clicks and on average, my team
spends no more than four hours a week on the solution. Everything is
perfect and that’s high-value for me and my team as it gives us the time
for everything else,” said Lugasi.