The Business Challenge
Since 1922, the Paz Oil Company Ltd. has been an important part of the Israeli economy. In addition to supplying approximately 30 percent of the country’s fuel, the company employs hundreds of people.
Paz’s IT team supports employees’ computing needs and an IT infrastructure of 200 physical servers and 215 virtual machines (VMs). Many critical applications and services have been virtualized on VMware vSphere, including Oracle, SAP Application Server, and Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange Server, and SQL Server. Reliable data protection and efficient disaster recovery are important to the IT team, so when backing up 215 VMs took up to 50 hours, Yohai Rosenbaum, Computer Systems Manager, and his colleagues began searching for a faster solution.
“Although the legacy backup tool we used worked really well with our physical servers, it didn’t back up our virtual servers quickly or reliably,” he said. “We had to watch over each server during backup, but who has time to babysit 215 VMs? And, if a backup failed, we had to start that backup again. Recovering a virtual server also took too long, sometimes several hours, which meant employees couldn’t access the systems they needed. This disrupted business continuity.”
The IT team turned to Dooks Computer Services, a leading provider of advanced IT infrastructure solutions. Igor Kachuriner, co-founder and co-CEO at Dooks, said many of his clients have similar issues with their legacy backup tools.
“Companies want one system to back up physical servers and virtual servers with the highest degrees of speed and recoverability, but that single system doesn’t exist,” he explained. “The legacy tool did an excellent job backing up Paz’s physical servers, but the company needed a better solution for its virtual servers, especially since its goals are fast, frequent backups and really quick VM recovery.
I told Paz what I tell my other clients: keep using your existing backup tool for your physical machines, and use Veeam Backup & Replication for your VMs.”
The Veeam Solution
Rosenbaum and his colleagues looked at three backup solutions, including Veeam® Backup & Replication™. After comparing the three solutions and heeding Kachuriner’s advice, they chose Veeam.
“We discovered two major differences among the products we compared: price and VM recoverability,” Rosenbaum said. “Veeam is more cost-effective than the other solutions and offers the best recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTOs and RPO).” Veeam Backup & Replication provides fast, flexible and reliable recovery of virtualized applications and data. It combines backup and replication in a single solution and reinvents data protection for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments.
Veeam enables Rosenbaum and his colleagues to back up their VMware VMs faster and more frequently. “When we back up more frequently, we have more restore options, so we back up critical systems two to four times per day with Veeam,” he said. “If we have a crisis, all we have to do is choose the latest backup, and our chance of data loss dramatically decreases.”
Rosenbaum said a full VM restore is much faster with Veeam, too. “Our RTO is five minutes with Veeam, compared to several hours with the legacy backup tool. No business can afford to lose a system for several hours. Downtime can cost us several thousand dollars per hour.”
Another issue the IT team encountered before implementing Veeam was failed backups. “We never knew for sure if our backups were successful,” Rosenbaum said. “With Veeam, we can automate the verification process and test any available restore point, not only the most recent one. With Veeam, I’m always sure the backup is recoverable. We can also restore individual application objects from a regular backup, which has been useful with Active Directory, Exchange Server and SQL Server, and saved us time.”
Backup speed increases 96 percentBacking up 215 VMs used to take 50 hours. With Veeam Backup & Replication, it takes two hours. Faster backups mean the IT team can back up more frequently, giving Rozenbaum and his colleagues more restore options in case of a crisis.
Five-minute RTO diminishes employee downtimeVeeam’s Instant VM Recovery capability lets the IT team run a VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file on regular backup storage. This eliminates the need to extract the backup and copy it to production storage, minimizing disruption to users and downtime in the event of an outage.
Automatic recovery verification and individual item recovery save timeVeeam’s SureBackup™ automatically verifies the recoverability of backups. It automatically creates a VM in an isolated environment and runs it directly from the backup file. In addition, Veeam’s U-AIR™ (Universal Application-Item Recovery) lets the IT team recover individual objects from any virtualized application without the use of additional agents, backups or software tools.