The Business Challenge
More than two centuries later, Steen & Strøm’s head office remains in Oslo. The IT team supports the computing needs of people in the head office as well as its colleagues in more than half of the shopping centres in Scandinavia. Ninety-five percent of the IT infrastructure is virtualised on 10 VMware vSphere servers hosting 150 Windows virtual machines (VMs). Protecting the VMs that run the company’s most critical systems, such as Microsoft Exchange and the company’s financial and ERP applications, is one of the team’s top priorities.
The team’s VM backup tool did not support incremental backup, so nightly full backups were lengthy. Because there weren’t enough hours in the day to back up all VMs, several of the larger VMs, including the one running Exchange, could be backed up only a few times each week.
“Backup took a very long time, which was bad enough, but many times our backup failed,” said Kay Ove Gabrielsen, Senior IT Consultant for Steen & Strøm. “Our requirements for a new backup solution were very simple: it had to be fast, it had to be easy to use and it had to be reliable. Backup failure was not acceptable.”
The Veeam Solution
Steen & Strøm’s IT team considered two possibilities, including Veeam® Backup & Replication™.
“We downloaded Veeam’s free trial and it worked so well that we didn’t bother to test the other backup tool we were considering,” Gabrielsen said. “I knew the other tool used agents, and I wasn’t keen to install agents on every VM.”
Veeam provides powerful, easy-to-use, affordable and agent-free recovery of virtualised applications and data for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.
“Veeam Backup & Replication is easy to configure, and our backups are successful every day. Veeam just works. It works every time,” Gabrielsen said.
Compared to the team’s previous backup tool, Veeam backup is 50% faster, which enables it to back up every VM every day.
“Before we deployed Veeam, we worried about recovering emails from the Exchange VM because we only backed it up three or four times a week. Now we back up that VM every day and our worry is gone. Veeam Backup & Replication also makes it much easier to restore individual items from Exchange. Before Veeam, we had to restore the .pst file or even the entire Exchange VM to recover an email, and that took about an hour. With Veeam we restore items directly from the Exchange VM backup, and it takes about five minutes.”
Gabrielsen and his colleagues use Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange to recover emails, contacts, and other individual Exchange items. Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange gives them instant visibility into Exchange backups, saving time “We used Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange to check out a new installation of Exchange 2010. We tested the recovery process thoroughly, and we’re confident it will save us a great deal of time in the future.”
Members of the IT team have something else to look forward to in the future. They’re installing a second datacentre and will use Veeam Backup & Replication to replicate critical VMs for disaster recovery (DR).
“Veeam has become an important part of our DR strategy,” Gabrielsen said. “We’re currently copying backups manually to a second location for DR, and that is timeconsuming. Replication with Veeam will be faster and more efficient.”
Backup is 50% faster, enabling every VM to be backed up dailyBefore Steen & Strøm deployed Veeam Backup & Replication, VM backup was so slow that members of the IT team couldn’t back up every VM every day, including the VM running Microsoft Exchange. With Veeam, backup is 50% faster, enabling the IT team to back up every VM daily. “We know the Exchange data is safe with Veeam,” Gabrielsen said.
Recovering items from Microsoft Exchange takes five minutesVeeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange works directly with Exchange VM backups. Team members no longer have to provision storage or recover entire mailbox stores. Instead, they choose the Exchange VM and the restore point they need, and Veeam Explorer presents the contents of those mailbox stores for browsing, searching, and restore directly back to Exchange.
Replicating VMs becomes focal point of DR strategyVeeam includes backup and replication in a single solution, giving Steen & Strøm’s IT team an affordable option for replicating critical VMs offsite for DR. With Veeam’s near-continuous data protection, if a VM goes down, the team can immediately fail over to a standby VM.