The Business Challenge
When a major Italian financial institution asked Colt Technology Services to design
a disaster recovery (DR) site for its critical systems, the request included specific
First, the customer asked Colt to design an infrastructure that would replicate
its critical services, including physical servers, virtual servers, and large networkattached
storage (NAS) systems, to an offsite DR location situated at least 100
kilometers from the primary production site.
Second, the customer asked Colt to implement a virtual server backup solution that
could be activated at the DR site if a disaster occurred. Therefore, data modified
during the DR activation would continue to be covered by nightly backups.
Third, implementation of the backup and replication solution must have
minimal impact on the customer’s production environment. For example, the
implementation must be unobtrusive, replication must occur during a specific
timeframe, replication traffic must be kept to at a minimum, and the management
of replication must not require excessive work on the part of the production staff. In
addition, activation of the DR site must abide by the recovery time objective set by
The Veeam Solution
Colt contacted Clever Consulting, an Italy-based specialist in virtualization, high
availability, disaster recovery, business continuity, and regulatory compliance
“We recommended Veeam Backup & Replication for disaster recovery purposes,”
explained Gary McConnell, Managing Partner at Clever Consulting. “Our company
policy is to recommend and deploy products that we trust. Veeam is a significant
player in our portfolio of solutions.”
Now Veeam Backup & Replication is responsible for nightly replication of VMware
servers from the customer’s production site to the DR site. “This process works
flawlessly and involves very little time on the customer’s behalf,” Gary said. “In
addition, both Colt and the customer are alerted to any issues via Veeam’s reporting
and alerting features. And the solution has been completely integrated into the
network management monitoring systems, thanks to Veeam’s SNMP alerts,” he
The customer also uses Veeam Backup & Replication for failover testing. “Failover
can be tested, certified, and rolled back easily,” Gary explained. “Being able to pause
replication, carry out a failover test, and then restart replication from the pre-failover
test snapshot is reassuring to the customer and ensures they don’t have long rereplication
times after running a disaster recovery test.”
A backup job for all virtual machines in the DR site was created with Veeam as well.
“This will only be activated when a disaster recovery is invoked, thus protecting any
data changed during the DR activation,” he added. “Upon DR activation, the entire
server farm will be backed up in a matter of minutes—without having to install
agents on the customer’s guest machines. This is a simple, straightforward, and fully
automated process, with no agents to purchase, deploy, configure, update, and
monitor,” he concluded.
Nightly replication of production servers to DR site is flawless
Now the customer’s virtual servers are replicated to an off-site location each night.
This occurs within a designated timeframe and involves very little work for the
production staff. If there is an issue, both Colt and the customer will receive emails
via Veeam’s reporting and alerting feature.
Failover testing ensures short and concise re-replication if necessary
The customer also uses Veeam Backup & Replication to test, certify, and roll back
failovers. This enables the customer to pause replication, test failover, and restart
replication from the pre-failover test snapshot, ensuring short re-replication times.
Data changes are guaranteed during DR activation
If the event of disaster, Veeam Backup & Replication will back up all virtual machines
at the DR site, protecting any data changed during the activation. Veeam provides
agentless backups, making the process simple, straightforward, fully automated,