King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) supports and enriches scientific research. Over the years, KACST has developed a national science, technology and innovation ecosystem that has transformed the kingdom from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.
The two most important components of science and innovation are people and data. Therefore, KACST created the Internet Services Unit (ISU) to provide people in the science community with 24.7.365 access to data. Without 24.7.365 access, they can’t carry out their collaborative research and develop solutions that improve society.
ISU provides hosted services and cloud computing to approximately 30 organisations in the science community, including universities, research centers, laboratories and government agencies. Each organisation works toward a common goal: to transform the kingdom into a leader in science and technology. They have strict service level agreement (SLAs) with ISU so they can maintain business continuity.
“If we fail to deliver their data 24.7.365, we put them at risk for downtime, and we lose their trust,” said Abdulmajeed R. Al-Osaimi, Manager of the System & Development Department at ISU. “Downtime can derail their testing and research; downtime can cripple their business processes. If they can’t access their data, we have failed them.”
ISU’s IT infrastructure is large, modern and virtualised on VMware vSphere. VMware NSX and VMware vRealize Suite support cloud services. The IT infrastructure is a powerhouse, but backup and recovery were not. Legacy backup couldn’t integrate with VMware vRealize Suite to provide fully automated backup as a service (BaaS) to the science community. And, backup and recovery were slow and unreliable.
“It was becoming difficult to deliver data 24.7.365,” said Ayham Rizeq, Senior Cloud Consultant at ISU. “We became concerned about business continuity for the organisations we serve, so we took preventative action.”
ISU deployed Veeam® Availability Suite™ to ensure the science community in Saudi Arabia has 24.7.365 access to data.
“Our job is to provide high availability to the organisations that conduct scientific research and foster technological innovation,” Al-Osaimi said. “Veeam helps us deliver 24.7.365 Availability of the data that becomes the catalyst for discovery, economic development and social prosperity.”
Veeam integrates seamlessly with VMware vRealize Suite so ISU can provide fully automated BaaS to the science community. Veeam also provides reliable, high-speed backup and recovery, enabling ISU to back up critical data to NetApp storage often and restore it quickly. One of ISU’s favorite Veeam features is Instant VM Recovery®, which restores from a backup in minutes.
“We have no problem meeting SLAs because of Instant VM Recovery,” Rizeq said. “Instant VM Recovery helps us ensure business continuity for each organisation.”
Veeam also helps ISU with monitoring and reporting to avoid downtime, as well as capacity planning to forecast resource and utilisation trends. Veeam provides complete visibility into the virtual environment so ISU can detect and resolve issues before they become problems and impact the organisations.
“Non-stop IT operations is the new normal, so we have to make sure our organisations have 24.7.365 Availability of their critical data,” said Khalid Alfoaim, Senior System Administrator. “We look after IT so they can focus on advancing science and technology through research. Innovation and economic development is everyone’s focus.”