The Business Challenge
White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa has mastered the art of blending glamour and opulence with world-class hotel, conference and recreational facilities. At the heart of the operation is the IT infrastructure, which supports the entire complex and hundreds of users. It includes six physical servers, two VMware ESXi hosts and 34 virtual machines (VMs) that function as file and Web servers and also run multiple user applications specific to the hospitality industry.
The IT team uses a traditional backup process for its physical servers but knew a backup tool designed specifically for the virtualized environment would be best for its virtual servers. Adrien Carlyle, IT Manager, quickly focused on Veeam Backup & Replication™.
“Version 4.1 was available at the time, and my colleague and I were impressed by how easy the product is to deploy and maintain. We were also excited to take advantage of Changed Block Tracking to reduce backup time,” he said. “While this functionality continues to be very important to us today, we were shocked by the amount of time and frustration Veeam saves us when we need to recover data.”
The Veeam Solution
Adrien is referring to Instant VM Recovery—a capability in Veeam Backup & Replication v5 that lets him restore an entire VM from a backup in minutes. Veeam Backup & Replication enables several industry firsts like Instant VM Recovery thanks to vPower™, groundbreaking technology developed by Veeam Software that leverages the virtual environment to provide a new level of data protection. vPower enables Adrien to run a VM in production or in an isolated virtual lab directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file on regular backup storage.
“Instant VM Recovery was particularly helpful when an update for Microsoft .NET crashed a Web server that runs a portal that staff depend on for scheduling and important company information,” Adrien said. “The IT team was able to recover the VM in minutes, and staff members remained productive.
“This was the first time we took advantage of Instant VM Recovery in a production down situation, and we were impressed that the process was quick and easy to execute,” he continued. “We did a Storage vMotion back to the production datastore while the VM remained online and went right back to work.”
Adrien plans to take advantage of another industry first provided by Veeam Backup & Replication: SureBackup™ Recovery Verification, which will let him test backups in a virtual lab. “ I could have used this capability when we changed one of the rules for our firewall VM. The system became unresponsive so we rebooted the VM, but it didn’t come back online as expected. The backup images also exhibited the same issue. We ended up having to rebuild the VM from scratch and restore a recent config. This took quite awhile. I would have saved a lot of time by verifying the recoverability of this VM before the problem surfaced in production.”
Adrien will put the virtual lab to work in another industry first provided by Veeam Backup & Replication. The On-Demand Sandbox will let him create test VMs in a virtual lab from any point in time to troubleshoot problems and test workarounds, software patches and new application code. This capability eliminates the need for dedicated test labs and overhead from VM snapshots.
Instant VM Recovery minimizes downtime and disruption to users
With vPower, the IT team at White Oak Conference Resort and Spa can run a VM directly from a backup file, eliminating the need to extract the backup. Adrien can start the VM from the backup on any host in a matter of minutes, without disrupting users.
SureBackup Recovery Verification allows every backup to be tested for
With Veeam Backup & Replication, organizations can verify the recoverability of every backup, of every VM, every time, without additional hardware or staff. This will be particularly helpful to White Oaks’ small IT team of two people.
On-Demand Sandbox facilitates testing, training and troubleshooting
Instead of burdening production VMs with additional snapshots, the IT team at White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa will create an isolated test environment from existing backups to troubleshoot problems and test workarounds, software patches and new application code.