The Business Challenge
Established in 2010, SGIX is an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) that connects Internet Access Providers (IAPs) and Content Providers to deliver 24/7 information and services to hundreds of thousands of users throughout Singapore. SGIX’s servers and network equipment are deployed remotely from external data centers.
At its inception, SGIX opted to virtualize its infrastructure. Today the environment consists of four VMware ESXi hosts running on Linux servers. Nineteen virtual machines (VMs) run mission-critical applications such as authentication and network graphing tools, and support the route servers that are essential for coordinating routing at the Internet Exchange Points.
SGIX initially used free ESX tools to monitor the virtual environment. “As a not-for-profit organization operating on a shoestring budget, we looked for the most economical way to monitor our environment,” said Chun Sing Kerk, Technical Director at SGIX. “Free tools that carried no long-term commitment allowed us to test our virtualization strategy without taxing our budget. We soon realized, however, that we needed more – specifically, we needed a solution that would not only monitor the entire virtual infrastructure, but also identify and alert us to potential problems.”
Kerk had seen a Veeam demonstration at VMworld and was favorably impressed with Veeam’s capabilities and technology. “Our first impression was that Veeam ONE would be an ideal solution for a small organization like ours – affordable, and with monitoring capabilities that met our requirements,” he said. “This impression was reinforced by a friend who used Veeam at his company. We downloaded the Free Edition of Veeam ONE and found it exceeded our expectations. We knew that we had found the right tool for us, and we had the confidence to move forward with purchasing the full version.”
The Veeam Solution
Veeam ONE is a single solution that provides powerful, easy-to-use monitoring and reporting capabilities so Kerk can manage the SGIX virtual environment effectively. “Veeam ONE gives us a consolidated view of our virtual infrastructure,” he said. “It is easy to use, and is perfect for a small, cost-conscious organization such as ours.”
Veeam ONE delivers 24/7, real-time performance monitoring and resource utilization that provides a comprehensive view of the entire virtual infrastructure. It automatically discovers, documents and analyzes the infrastructure so that Kerk can identify and react to problems quickly. “It is crucial that our members maintain 24/7 availability to information and services for their thousands of end users,” Kerk explained. “Shortly after we installed Veeam ONE, we were alerted to a hard disk failure on one of the hosts. Without Veeam, it would likely have taken a long time to discover the issue and respond to it.”
Problem resolution is further enhanced by the built-in intelligence in Veeam ONE. “With Veeam ONE’s pre-built alarms and extensive knowledge base, I am alerted when a problem occurs and given workarounds and troubleshooting assistance that help me resolve problems quickly,” Kerk said. “This ensures that we seldom have an interruption in service.”
The reporting capabilities in Veeam ONE give SGIX the ability to automate documentation, track changes, and identify under- or over-utilized resources, providing detailed reports that help Kerk control and optimize his virtual environment. He noted, “Complete and up-to-date documentation is essential. I have, at my fingertips, a complete history of settings and I can document and track changes, and identify resources and workloads with pre-defined, automated reports.”
Kerk cites an example of how valuable reports can be. “We learned through the daily reports that the essential VMware tools had not been installed on some of our Linux servers. We were able to identify the specific VMs and remedy the situation before it led to major problems.”
The online tutorials available with Veeam products have been especially valuable to Kerk and SGIX, along with the live technical support that is always available. “We’ve encountered very few problems that necessitate a call to technical support, and have been quite satisfied on those rare occasions with the response time and quality of information received,” Kerk said. “The tutorials have been helpful, as well.”
Kerk has been extremely satisfied with the performance of Veeam ONE. “I would, without hesitation, recommend that companies looking at monitoring tools for virtual environments give Veeam ONE a try. It does not disappoint.”
Centralized, consolidated view of the virtualized infrastructure for VMware infrastructure
Veeam ONE provides a complete view of the entire virtual infrastructure and works with both VMware and Hyper-V, giving SGIX a single solution to manage all of its hosts effectively and affordably.
Real-time monitoring and alerting to resolve problems quickly
Along with its comprehensive view of the entire virtual infrastructure, Veeam ONE provides 24/7 real-time monitoring that helps SGIX react to issues before they become critical. Veeam’s built-in alerts and extensive knowledge base ensure quick problem identification and resolution.
Comprehensive documentation and reporting for change tracking and resource optimization
Thanks to Veeam ONE’s reporting capabilities, SGIX now has a comprehensive history of all objects, settings and changes, documented by detailed, automated reports. Veeam ONE also identifies how resources are utilized and helps Kerk understand how and where to deploy new VMs to help him keep the virtual environment operating and growing efficiently.