The Business Challenge
Scientists at a renowned national laboratory conduct cutting-edge research to unlock nature’s deepest secrets. The IT infrastructure at the national laboratory supports every aspect of this research. High availability is a top priority. The majority of the infrastructure is virtualized on VMware vSphere in which 550 virtual machines (VMs) run critical applications. A small Microsoft Hyper-V environment is used for testing purposes.
Downtime at the national laboratory would impede scientific research; therefore, the IT team must be fully confident in its ability to back up, recover and manage their virtual environment. When backups began to fail, team members looked for a new solution to protect their virtualized data and applications.
“If two or three VM backups failed during a backup job, we had to run the entire backup job again,” said a system administrator at the national laboratory. “The inefficiency was driving us crazy. We needed to be certain our backups were successful so we could recover quickly to avoid downtime.”
IT team members also wanted deeper visibility into their backup and virtual infrastructures. If they could monitor their backup jobs and resources, as well as obtain reports on backup status, performance, availability and utilization, they could improve overall management and protect the health of their virtual environment. They researched several backup and management solutions.
The Veeam Solution
The national laboratory chose Veeam Backup Management Suite to improve data protection, visibility and management in its virtual environment. Veeam Backup Management Suite is a powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solution designed specifically for virtualization that provides backup, recovery, replication, monitoring, reporting and capacity planning for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.
Veeam Backup Management Suite provides the national laboratory with more efficient VM backup and recovery and more capabilities than its previous backup tool. One of the team members’ favorite Veeam features is Instant VM Recovery, which allows them to recover a VM from a backup in minutes. Veeam also lets them recover a file from any guest operating system (OS) and file system, as well as individual objects from any virtualized application—without agents, special backups or additional software tools. For example, they can quickly restore files in Linux and Windows operating systems as well as Microsoft SQL and SharePoint application items.
“Anytime you do a successful restore, you make someone’s day so much easier,” the system administrator said.
Another Veeam feature that will benefit the national laboratory and assure confidence is SureBackup, which verifies the recoverability of every backup, every time. To accomplish this, Veeam automatically runs a series of tests on the backed up VMs in an isolated Virtual Lab. Through SureReplica, Veeam can also test the recoverability of replicas.
“We chose Veeam based on its backup performance and fast recovery capabilities; however, it has additional features that appealed to us, such as built-in replication for easy failover during disaster recovery, deduplication to reduce backup repository space and multi-hypervisor support,” the system administrator said.
Veeam Backup Management Suite also helps the laboratory manage its virtual environment through advanced monitoring, reporting and capacity planning.
For example, the system administrator created customized monitoring alerts for low disk space so his colleagues who manage VMs at the OS level can resolve disk space issues quickly. With this kind of visibility, they can track growth trends for resource consumption and plan accordingly.
Veeam’s reporting capabilities are just as important. They help the laboratory identify unprotected VMs, track the status of backup and verification jobs, assess performance and utilization, and map backup and virtual infrastructures.
Veeam’s capacity planning features help with backup repository requirements, trend analysis and threshold predictions, what-if modeling and provisioning recommendations. The extensive feature set in Veeam Backup Management Suite delivers powerful virtual management and proven data protection in a single solution.
Effective data protection and management of multi-hypervisor environments
Veeam Backup Management Suite provides the national laboratory with fast, effective backup, replication and recovery. Veeam also provides complete visibility of the laboratory’s backup and virtual infrastructures, advanced monitoring of backup jobs and resources and at-a-glance reporting and detailed documentation of backup status, performance, availability and utilization.
Easy granular recovery from any virtualized application or system
With Veeam Backup Management Suite, it only takes a few minutes for the national laboratory to recover VMs, files and individual items. Automated verification of backups and replicas assures the laboratory that its backups and replicas are 100% recoverable.
Complete visibility through monitoring and reporting
Veeam Backup Management Suite installs prebuilt alerts and provides 24x7 realtime monitoring so organizations like the national laboratory are assured they’ll be notified immediately if a problem occurs. If something does need their attention, Veeam’s dashboards, performance graphs and knowledge base articles provide the data and information needed to resolve issues quickly. Veeam Backup Management Suite also helps the laboratory track growth trends for resource consumption so the IT team can plan proactively.