The Business Challenge
Like many large enterprises, Gray & Company decided to virtualize its physical server environment for several reasons: lack of space, expensive heating and cooling requirements, and hardware that needed to be updated. Instead of spending a substantial amount of money to update its physical servers, the company implemented VMware instead.
The Information Services Department at Gray & Company manages two datacenters and 13 remote offices and supports 250 users. When it was time to renew its replication software, the company faced nearly $100,000 in renewal fees. That’s when Carleton Ellsworth, IT Project Manager for Gray & Company, and his team decided to look for alternatives.
“It certainly wasn’t worth renewing a product that never really worked well for us in the first place,” he explained. “What we really needed was a solid replication tool, so we installed and tested two products. One of them was Veeam Backup & Replication.”
The Veeam Solution
Carleton and his colleagues immediately recognized three major differences between the two products they tested.
“The first major difference was the people behind each company,” he explained.
“Veeam told us exactly what their product could do and explained what was coming in future releases. The other company did the same thing, but many of the features that Veeam already had were planned for subsequent releases of the competing product. However, the competitor hadn’t released a new version in quite some time, while Veeam had released two versions during that same time frame.”
Carleton said the second major difference between the two products is how replication affects the ESX server. “Replication with the other product occurs within the ESX server, which affects performance,” he said. “But with Veeam, the workload can be moved around for optimization. I can replicate on a physical machine so nothing affects the ESX server, or I can run the process on the ESX server itself. Veeam gives me flexibility, and that’s really important.”
The third major difference between the two products is their ability to leverage changed block tracking within VMware vSphere. “Changed block tracking didn’t work with the other product,” Carleton explained. “It may work in later versions, but it didn’t work for us. “Changed block tracking did work with Veeam in the test environment, and it continues to work well today, saving us six hours or more. That’s how long it used to take to scan the system to find differences. Now it takes less than 20 minutes with Veeam.”
Improves replication speed by 94 percent—Veeam Backup & Replication provides full and native support for VMware vSphere, including changed block tracking, which results in amazingly fast replication cycles. What used to take Gray & Company six hours now takes less than 20 minutes with Veeam.
Increases “power-on” speed in a failed environment by 96 percent—Since Veeam Backup & Replication quickly restores replicas to a particular point in time, Carleton and his team can roll back multiple virtual machines at once. This is especially important in a disaster recovery situation because it means the machines can also be turned on very quickly. This process takes less than one hour with Veeam. Without Veeam, it took up to one day