The Business Challenge
The University of Florida’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the largest college on campus with 30 departments. More than 700 faculty members teach most of the university’s core curriculum to 35,000 students each year.
The college was an early adopter of virtualization, quickly reaching 100% in its IT infrastructure. Students, faculty and staff require access to virtualized applications and data 24x7x365. Data is growing quickly—from 14 TB in 2010 to nearly 90 TB in 2014.
“Our backup tool was not capable of backing up large data sets at a decent speed,” said Keith Baker, IT Expert at the University of Florida. “We were backing up to tape, so recovery was slow and problematic. When I saw that many of our faculty and staff had 2 TB USB drives on their desks for personal backup because they didn’t trust our ability to back up and restore their data, I began looking for a new solution.”
Baker said his goal was to find virtualization-specific data protection that fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server and could back up and recover large data sets quickly.
“I’ve been in IT for 30+ years, and I’ve worked with a lot of products,” Baker continued. “If I have even the slightest doubt that a product will require a great deal of time and effort, I don’t even consider it. Once in a while I come across a product that just works and makes me say, ‘Wow!’ That’s Veeam.”
The Veeam Solution
The University of Florida’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences chose Veeam® Backup & Replication™ to protect its large and growing data. Veeam backs up nearly 90 TB of data on 35 virtual machines (VMs) daily.
“I’m happy to say I’ve purged our data center of the legacy backup tool,” Baker said. “Backup was slow, kludgy and failed 10% of the time, which caused me sleepless nights and raised my blood pressure. I never knew if my backups could be recovered.” Backup with Veeam is much faster compared to the legacy tool, which couldn’t perform incremental backups like Veeam, only full backups. A full backup of a 10 TB server took an entire week with the legacy tool. An incremental backup of that same server takes 30 minutes with Veeam. With faster backup, the college backs up more frequently—some VMs are backed up each hour.
“More frequent backups were never an option with the legacy tool because each backup bogged down the servers,” Baker said. “That’s not the case with Veeam because Veeam takes snapshots of VMs and only backs up changed blocks.” Recovery with Veeam is faster too. In fact, Veeam high-speed recovery has “saved the day” a few times.
“I had a 10 TB file server that one of our professors loaded with data without telling me, and it crashed,” Baker explained. “I used Veeam’s instant recovery to bring it back online in about 15 minutes with no data loss. Another time an even larger file server failed. I used Veeam to recover it in about 45 minutes, again with no data loss. That same recovery would have taken two days with the legacy backup tool. I was the momentary hero.”
Baker was referring to Instant VM Recovery®, which starts a failed VM from a backup in minutes. He also uses Instant File-Level Recovery to restore individual files that faculty and staff accidentally delete or lose.
“With Instant File-Level Recovery, you pick a backup date, start the VM and search for your file in real time,” Baker said. “Before Veeam, restoring files with the legacy backup tool took 25 to 30% of my day.
“Veeam gives me peace of mind. If there is a problem, I can recovery quickly. If you want your life to be simpler and your users to be happier, deploy Veeam.”
Fast, frequent backup and high-speed recovery regardless of data size
The University of Florida’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences doesn’t worry about protecting its virtualized applications and growing data. With Veeam Backup & Replication, the college backs up nearly 90 TB of data on 35 VMs each day—quickly, easily and reliably.
“I sleep better at night with Veeam,” Baker said. “I haven’t looked at our Veeam dashboard in six months because the solution just works, which makes me very happy.”
Always-on availability for faculty and staff
Before the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences deployed Veeam Backup & Replication, faculty and staff kept 2 TB USB backup drives on their desks because they didn’t trust the IT team to backup and recover their files.
“They don’t worry about losing their files anymore because they know we can recover instantly with Veeam,” Baker said.
Instant recovery in case of disaster
Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery has already saved the day twice at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences by quickly recovering two large file servers. Baker said Instant VM Recovery is his favorite feature.
“Before Veeam, my restore window was a week for a large file server. With Veeam, a restore takes minutes. You can’t argue with that; it’s magic. I have faith in Veeam. I know it won’t take very long to recover if we have a disaster.”