Imagine having to tell a professor the research document she spent weeks compiling online (and lost) can’t be restored in time for her lecture the next day. Imagine having to tell a student the final exam he emailed to his professor can’t be restored — ever. Students and faculty don’t care that virtual machine (VM) backup and recovery failed. They expect 24x7access to information.
“We couldn’t promise students and faculty access to what they needed whenever they needed it,” said Steffen Bendix Søjberg, IT Operations Manager at University College Sjælland. “They work extremely hard, and they deserve the peace of mind knowing their work is backed up and recoverable.”
Søjberg and his colleagues couldn’t promise 24x7 access because failure-prone backup and long, drawn-out recovery jeopardized availability of the critical systems students and faculty relied on, including course management and Microsoft Exchange.
In an effort to ensure 24x7 availability, University College Sjælland outsourced backup and recovery to a hosting company, but the hosting company couldn’t deliver round-the-clock availability either.
“That’s when we deployed Veeam® Backup & Replication™,” Søjberg said. “And, like everyone says, ‘It just works.’ Backup is dependable and recovery takes minutes. Veeam is the reason we can promise students and faculty 24x7 access.”
University College Sjælland faced one more challenge. Its network-attached storage (NAS) couldn’t accommodate annual data growing of 30%. Rather than spending money and time buying and configuring additional storage, Søjberg and his colleagues contacted Conscia, a leading ICT consultant based in Denmark. Conscia recommended they replace NAS in their Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) FlexPod infrastructure with a modular, high-density storage rack server.
“We needed more space, and we needed more speed,” Søjberg said. “Conscia recommended the Cisco UCS C3260 Rack Server, and it answered our needs by delivering high-capacity storage and fast, scalable computing. Then we saw what it could do with Veeam.”
Veeam Backup & Replication on the Cisco UCS C3260 Rack Server delivers nonstop 24x7 availability to University College Sjælland, giving students and faculty access to the information they need whenever they need it.
“Veeam and Cisco UCS C3260 are incredible together,” Søjberg said. “They’re easy to use, flexible and scalable. Keeping backup, recovery and storage simple gives us great uptime and happy users.
“Our job is to adopt systems and processes that serve users to the best of our ability and with the greatest flexibility,” Søjberg continued. “Veeam and Cisco UCS C3260 support us by simplifying backup and recovery and optimising backup storage, giving us 99.9% uptime and very happy users. We can tell university management with absolutely certainty that business continuity is guaranteed.”
Søjberg said 24x7 availability also saves University College Sjælland time and money.
“We don’t outsource backup and recovery to the hosting company anymore, saving thousands of kroner each month,” he explained. “And, we don’t maintain agents because Veeam is agentless, saving us several hours every week.”
The Cisco UCS C3260 Rack Server runs and manages Veeam Backup & Replication. It also serves as data mover and backup repository.
University College Sjælland backs up 50 TB on 380 VMware vSphere VMs 60% faster and up four times more frequently than its previous solution, providing more recovery points than ever. That’s because Veeam backs up directly from filebased (NFS) storage, delivering high-speed backups with no impact on the virtual environment. Cisco UCS C3260 plays a role in faster backups with parallel processing and fewer ingest bottlenecks.
Recovery with Veeam and Cisco UCS C3260 is 75% faster, delivering the shortest recovery times ever. Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery® restores a VM from a regular backup, and Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange restores individual emails in minutes. In addition, the Cisco UCS C3260 has fast I/O and processing power.
Søjberg said he and his colleagues hope to add a second Cisco UCS C3260 Rack Server next year, but not to accommodate growing data (a total of 160 TB of local storage is already available). They’re keen to test Veeam replication between the two servers for disaster recovery (DR). In the meantime, they plan to learn more about their solution.