The Business Challenge
Every mission-critical application that supports daily operations at Hisar School has been virtualized on VMware vSphere including email, financial systems, library catalogs, e-ticketing for the school’s Culture Center and the learning management system. The school’s nearly 1,600 students, staff and parents expect each of these systems to be available 24/7.
When Bahadir Yildiz, ITC Department Head at Hisar School, and his colleagues used a physical backup process to back up their 30 virtual machines (VMs), they encountered several problems. The worst was disruption to users.
“With our previous solution, we had to take down one virtual server at a time and clone it, but that meant students, staff and parents didn’t have access to the systems on that server, and that made people very angry,” Yildiz said. “This backup process required manual intervention and took a lot of time, so users were disrupted for several hours. There was another problem with this process: we couldn’t perform frequent backups because backups took so long. We tried to back up all of the virtual servers each week, but something else always came up that required our attention, and the backup process continued into the next week, and the next. We knew we needed a backup solution designed specifically for virtual environments.”
Yildiz said his list of requirements for a new solution was long. “We wanted to back up and replicate servers while they were still running so our users could access the applications they needed,” he explained. “We also wanted the ability to perform incremental backups for regulatory reasons. As a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS), we are required to conduct periodic backups to protect data. While we met the requirements with our previous backup solution, we knew we could do better. We also wanted to be able to recover a VM quickly. And, of course, it was important to us that the new solution integrate well with vSphere.”
The Veeam Solution
After careful research, Yildiz and his colleagues chose Veeam® Backup & Replication™. Built specifically for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-v environments, Veeam combines backup and replication and rapid VM recovery in one cohesive solution.
“Before choosing a new VM backup solution, I spent a lot of time reading user reviewsto see what other IT professionals said about Veeam Backup & Replication,” Yildiz said. “Their reviews convinced me to try Veeam, and I was happy to discover that it is a full-featured, easy-to-use solution. It works exactly as everyone described.”
With Veeam, the ITC department backs up the school’s VMs daily, which satisfies CIS’s periodic backup requirement. “Veeam’s fast incremental backups make more frequent backups possible, and this helped us earn an “A” in data protection,” Yildiz said. “Veeam’s incremental backups are amazing for another reason: they require 80 percent less backup space than our previous backup tool because of built-in deduplication and compression.”
Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery feature is also important to the ITC department. When Yildiz lost half of his virtual servers because of an electrical problem, he used Instant VM Recovery to restore them quickly. “This would have taken a few weeks if Veeam hadn’t been in place,” he said. “And we might have suffered data loss.”
Having a full-featured, easy-to-use backup solution is important to Yildiz and his colleagues, but something else is more important.
“For us, the #1 benefit of using Veeam is happy users,” he said. “Students, staff and parents expect email, the learning management system and library catalogs to work every minute of every day. Shutting down these applications to perform VM backups affected everyone’s productivity, but it was what we had to do, until we found Veeam.”
Students, staf f and parents have 24/7 access to mission-critical school systems With Veeam Backup & Replication, Yildiz and his colleagues can back up an entire VM in one image-level backup and restore it on any virtual server. And they can back up (and replicate) without taking applications or data offline, which means students, staff and parents can access school systems at all times.
Fast, frequent backups help school score “A” in data protection
Veeam Backup & Replication performs lightning-fast incremental backups to minimize backup time and allow for more frequent backup and replication at Hisar School. This enabled the ITC department to earn the highest score possible in data protection during a CIS compliance audit.
Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery restores 15 servers fastWhen the ITC department lost half of its virtual servers, Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery restored VMs from backups in minutes. Yildiz said if this disaster scenario had occurred before Veeam Backup & Replication was on site, he would have spent weeks recovering VMs because his previous backup solution had no quick recovery capabilities.