The Business Challenge
The main data center is located at Plaisir in the suburbs of Paris. It houses all of the
business-line applications of the subsidiaries resulting from an IT infrastructure
consolidation plan. This consolidation program, initiated five years ago and has led
to a steady growth in the volume of data in the Plaisir data center, which now hosts
500 virtual machines (VMs) spread over a dozen high-capacity physical servers.
The data center in the United States enforces the same consolidation policy, but
remains smaller in size. In Asia (Singapore), the data center design is based on a
virtual infrastructure and is used as the backup data center site for Plaisir and the
replication site for subsidiaries worldwide.
In late 2009, the Plaisir group data center gradually reached 20 TB of VMs data and
captured all the attention of the production team. Unlike resources (processors,
disk and bandwidth) that were developed constantly, virtual infrastructure backup
technology had not evolved enough to secure these large volumes of data.
“The existing solution based on scripts and exports no longer allowed daily backups
of the critical production to be made in one day,” stated Pierre-Philippe Martin, a
systems and network engineer for the Euler Hermes Group. “Moreover, the available
backup windows proved insufficient to meet the backup frequency required for other
applications, such as those for development.”
In addition, switching to VMware vSphere with API Vstorage was the second trigger
to search for a backup solutions that could take full advantage of the latest from
The Veeam Solution
The backup solution needed to be optimized for VMware environments and fully
integrated into IBM’s TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager) backup tool, which covers the
entire physical infrastructure on which Euler Hermes’ business continuity planning
(BCP) is based.
The study of several software vendors in the market revealed that only Veeam’s
Backup & Replication product was able to combine the two pre-requisites. INETD
Consulting, Euler Hermes’ prime integrator, validated the efficiency of Veeam
Backup & Replication and IBM TSM combination, in an environment similar to that
of one of its customers.
“The standard replication feature included in Veeam’s “two-in-one” solution appeared as
an additional differentiator in light of our medium-term needs,” stated P-P. Martin.
Today, Veeam Backup & Replication is deployed in the Plaisir and Singapore data
centers and its subsidiaries, which still have an average of two physical servers for
20 VMs. Deployment is currently underway in the U.S. data center.
Veeam Backup & Replication, operational since early February 2011 on most Euler
Hermes sites, takes full advantage of VMware’s vStorage innovations. Notably, the
much faster total and incremental backups meet the defined backup windows and
do not impact production as the consumption of resources requested is minimal.
From daily incremental backups, it is now also possible to choose not to perform
full backups, but to recreate “full” synthetic backups from increments.
The Veeam solution ensures VM backups on disks. Then IBM’s TSM centralizes the
backup of the virtual and physical environments, transfers them to VTL (Virtual Tape
Library) and manages the replication to the remote site and the outsourcing to
Euler Hermes’ production team is based on alerts received by email for continuous
monitoring of backup events and possible malfunctions. The data collected is used
to generate custom reports, such as the backup status per machine.
The ultimate and major goal of the Veeam Backup / IBM TSM integration is to
leave the launch of backup jobs to the external “scheduler”, the IBM TWS (Tivoli
Workload Scheduler). This planning tool will control both TSM and Veeam Backup
& Replication. It will ensure absolute consistency between the two types of backup
to guarantee synchronization of the exports by Veeam and recovery of the TSM
backup at the right time.
The restore feature has already been used successfully and the “instant restore”
feature has shown great utility to recover VMs within hours, instead of a day. The
operation is seamless to users who remain fully productive while the problem is
“In the medium term, Veeam’s replication feature will be gradually introduced for the
replication of backups from the subsidiaries to the Plaisir data center where a VMware
infrastructure is dedicated to the BCP,” concluded P-P. Martin.