The Business Challenge
The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Department at Intertrust Guernsey was an early adopter of VMware technology. It manages approximately 100 virtual machines (VMs) on 12 hosts in two datacenters.
When Mark Duddy, ICT Manager, and his colleagues began the server virtualization project, there were limited options available for performing virtual machine backup and recovery. “We chose a product that fulfilled our basic backup and restore needs, but updates to the product were few and far between,” he explained. “We decided to investigate other options.”
Since Mark had been using two free products from Veeam Software (FastSCP to manage files and bulk copy VMs, and RootAccess to enable or disable remote root access or create a regular non-root user account that is not allowed by default on the ESX Server), he decided to test Veeam Backup & Replication.
Mark obtained a trial version from Recarta IT, one of the UK’s fastest growing IT solution specialists. Recarta IT had already helped Mark build a strong and secure IT infrastructure, so a reliable VMware backup and replication solution was a logical next step.
The Veeam Solution
Intertrust Guernsey soon had a fully functioning and robust VMware backup solution, with an added bonus.
“Veeam enables full VM replication and file-level restoration as well,” Mark explained.
“We use this functionality to replicate some of our critical servers, which provides very fast recovery without the added cost, complexity, and time of using a bespoke clustering solution.”
Indeed, file-level restoration is faster now with Veeam. “In the past, we restored files from a tape library system, which could be spread over many tapes,” Mark explained. “Depending on the size of the restore, this could take up to an hour or more. With Veeam, we can find and restore files in minutes.”
Another capability that Mark and his team appreciate is Veeam’s ability to leverage VMware vSphere. “We group our VMs at a vApp level, and since Veeam is ‘vApp aware,’ we can logically back up our servers in a way that mirrors our infrastructure,” he said.
“We have a very good infrastructure, and Veeam Backup & Replication is a very good product; therefore, they work very well together,” Mark continued. “This was apparent during a datacenter migration. We had to move all of our hosts, storage area network, etc. to new premises. We found that during the interim failover to our BCP site, some of our virtual machines had been corrupted and wouldn’t start up. With Veeam, we were able to recover these servers from backup very quickly, and business continued as usual.”
Enables full and fast virtual machine replication
The ICT Department at Intertrust Guernsey uses Veeam to replicate some of its critical servers, which allows for very fast recovery of these systems without the added cost, complexity, and time of using a clustering solution.
Improves file-level restore speed
In the past, Mark and his team restored files from a tape library, which could take up to one hour or more. With Veeam, file-level restore takes a few minutes.
Leverages VMware vSphere to protect data
The ICT Department groups its virtual machines at a vApp level, and since Veeam was built from the ground up for VMware vSphere, it is “vApp aware.” That means Mark and his team can logically back up their servers in a way that mirrors their infrastructure.