In the state of Minas Gerais, SENAC serves its clients through multiple professional training centers, equipped with cutting-edge digital infrastructure.
Elizabeth Souza, IT Infrastructure Analyst at SENAC in Minas Gerais, said: “We rely heavily on our IT systems to help us deliver outstanding learning experiences to our students across the state. Our digital platforms enable learning in the classroom and at home, as well as supporting our administrative teams with vital back-office software.”
SENAC’s primary data center is the foundation for these digital capabilities. The organization uses a highly virtualized environment based on 140 VMware virtual machines (VMs) running on four bare-metal servers with approximately 50 TB of production data.
“Our digital systems are integral to the smooth-running of our organization — from the classroom to the back office,” said Souza. “If our systems went offline unexpectedly, it would be extremely disruptive for the organization — and any loss of data could pose a significant risk. As a result, we place a strong emphasis on data protection and disaster recovery.”
In the past, SENAC in Minas relied on manual processes to back up the VMs that host its critical systems — such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint portals and Microsoft Active Directory — to tape on a daily basis. However, as the organization’s data volumes grew, this approach was made it difficult to complete the data protection processes in a timely manner.
“We reached a point where our backups were constantly overrunning our scheduled downtime windows,” said Souza. “Part of the problem was that our backup medium — tape — meant that writing data was very slow. The other difficulty was that we had outgrown our previous Veritas NetBackup data protection tool, which no longer able to accommodate the volume and variety of information systems at SENAC Minas Gerais. To solve these challenges, we decided to look for a new way of working.”
Veeam was selected after a competitive tender process, having met all the organization’s technical requirements. Veeam Backup & Replication new data protection solution replacing slow tape-based backup processes with modern, enterprise-class technology.
“For several years before this project, we had already been using Veeam Management Pack Enterprise Plus to help us streamline the management of our VMware environment,” said Souza. “Based on our positive experiences with Veeam, we were very confident that we would receive responsive, high-quality support. The outcome of the tender process confirmed that the Veeam solution could also meet all our core technical requirements around data protection — so we had no hesitation in moving forward with Veeam Backup & Replication.”
Working with its trusted Veeam business partner Procedata, the company deployed, configured and tested the new backup-as-a-service solution, based on Veeam backups to high-performance Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Storage. As part of the managed service offering, our partner provides technical support and guidance to SENAC Minas Gerais, helping the organization to meet its rigorous data protection requirements.
“Switching to a backup-as-a-service solution powered by Veeam has been extremely valuable for SENAC Minas Gerais,” said Souza. “We now back up our mission-critical data to two separate locations: one copy at our data center and another copy on Amazon Simple Storage Service [Amazon S3]. By following the 3-2-1 backup rule, we’re greatly reducing the risk of data loss in a recovery scenario.”
By switching from manual processes managed on-premises to automated workflows, SENAC Minas Gerais can free its IT team to focus on maintaining and enhancing digital services for learners and faculty members.
“For a single monthly service fee, we now get all our backup needs taken care of,” said Souza. “We no longer need to manage daily backups or data restore requests ourselves. In addition, our partner manages all the underlying HPE Storage hardware and the Veeam solution itself. Our backup and restore processes are now almost entirely outsourced, which gives us peace of mind that our data is being protected 24/7.”
Looking to the future, SENAC Minas Gerais plans further enhancements to its data protection capabilities. By enabling both immutable and encrypted backups with Veeam, the organization will improve its protection against threats such as ransomware.